Community calls for end of violence at vigil for slain Ballou High School student Jaylyn Wheeler

- Residents are concerned about the recent spike in violent crime in the District. Homicides across the city are up this year and they are especially high in Wards 7 and 8.

In May, there has been a rash of homicides, which include many victims under the age of 18. One of those young victims include 15-year-old Ballou High School student Jaylyn Wheeler, who was shot to death a week ago as he walked home from school.

On Wednesday, his community gathered in Congress Heights just feet from where he was killed. They walked over a mile demanding for the violence stop.

Jaylyn’s mother spoke publicly for the first time after her son’s death. She said in the past year, she has lost five close family members to gun violence, including Jaylyn's father.

“I don't believe nothing you’re all beefing over is worth our lives,” she said. “On both ends that pull the trigger, it is not worth your life and it is not worth the life that you are taking. Because now you are going to have to face the consequences of whatever happens to you once you take a life, and then your parents got to pick up the pieces and then bury their children. And we lost a great asset to our community. Jaylyn was an awesome person.”

“No child should go to school and worry about if they are going to come home,” said community activist Ron Moten. “No mother should have to worry about their child coming home safely.”

On May 1, 16-year-old Tyshon Perry, an honor roll student at KIPP DC College Preparatory, was stabbed to death near the NoMa-Gallaudet University Metro station while on his way back home from school. D.C. police announced Wednesday they have charged two teenage cousins with his murder.

On Tuesday night, five people were shot and three people were stabbed in the District. At least one of the victims has since died. The violence unfolded in nearly every quadrant of the city.

There have been 18 more homicides in D.C. at this point of the year compared to last year, which is an increase of 45 percent.

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