WASHINGTON - Police have made one arrest and are searching for more suspects in the shooting of a 1-year-old boy who was wounded when gunfire erupted last week in a Northeast D.C. neighborhood.
"As promised, we've arrested someone for shooting this 1-year-old," D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham tweeted Tuesday morning.
At a press conference later in the day, Newsham said officers arrested 39-year-old Derrick Damon Watson this morning. Watson, from Northeast D.C., faces charges of assault with a dangerous weapon and unlawful possession of a firearm.
Newsham said that police were now turning their focus toward other suspects believed to have been involved in the shooting. He identified 27-year-old Saheed Aluwatoyin Washington Sulu as a second suspect and said that the man is from Southeast D.C. A third person, labeled as a person of interest, was pictured in surveillance video that captured the shooting as it happened.
"I'm sure people have seen him out and about, people who know him,” said Chief Newsham. “I am pretty sure that anybody who associates with this guy probably feels very uncomfortable with the fact that he is responsible for injuring a 1-year-old boy in our community and I am hopeful that those folks will give us information to his location.”
The police chief said the men were involved in a dispute and resorted to firearms with no regard for young kids in the area.
Newsham called the young victim, identified by family as Jeremiah, a “tough guy.” The boy has been released from the hospital and Newsham said he was back up and around shortly after the shooting.
The shooting happened on July 10 around 8:50 p.m. in an alleyway near the 1300 block of I Street. Police say shots rang out while many residents were outside enjoying the summer weather.
Jeremiah was not believed to have been the intended target of the shots fired.
"Fortunately the 1-year-old is home and is with their family and is recovering well, but at no point should a 1-year-old be headed off to the hospital for this,” said D.C. Councilmember Charles Allen (D-Ward 6). “So I am glad of MPD's action and very grateful for their hard work.”
The family of Jeremiah has set up a GoFundMe page to help with medical expenses. For more information, go to https://www.gofundme.com/