WASHINGTON - It has been two years since a teenager was senselessly gunned down at a Metro station in Northeast D.C.
On March 26, 2016, Davonte Washington was with his mother and two younger sisters on their way to get haircuts for Easter when he was shot twice in the chest at point-blank range on the platform of the Deanwood Metro station waiting for a train.
On the two-year anniversary of his death, his family and the community called for an end to gun violence in the neighborhood. They gathered at the entrance of the Metro stop Monday evening for a candlelight vigil and balloon release.
Washington’s family and friends remembered the young teenager they say shined.
“He was a really family-oriented kid, and that is not something you normally see at 15 years old,” said Rashawnda Washington, Davonte’s aunt.
“I think of his infectious smile,” added his mother Rashida Washington. “I think of the awesome personality he had. The loyalty to everyone he loved.”
She also addressed the deadly cycle of violence D.C.’s innocent children are subject to — and her new call to fight.
“We are going to continue to do this as long as I am breathing because they are our future and they deserve it,” Rashida told the crowd at the vigil.
Davonte has a younger brother who wasn’t born yet when the deadly shooting happened.
“He will never know his older brother,” said Davonte’s aunt.
Several days later, D.C. police arrested Maurice Bellamy, who was 17 years old at the time, and charged him with Davonte’s murder. Metro security footage captured the shooting and showed Bellamy fleeing the scene.
Davonte’s mother ran after him. She was in the courtroom for Bellamy’s guilty verdict nearly two years later.
“That was sweet,” said Rashida Washington. “I was so filled with joy. I don’t even know how to express it.”
The family said there is relief, but no healing.
“For him to be gunned down in front of his family, salt always remains in that wound,” explained Rashawnda. “You don’t have to be there to know the pain that caused.”
She was in the hospital when it happened and had just spoken to Davonte.
“To hear him so joyful and so excited to see me the following day, which would have been Easter Sunday, and then to get this gut-wrenching call that he’s been shot, it was just like two hours ago,” remembered Rashawnda. “It was something that was a nightmare-type situation that nobody should have to experience.”
She is now leading the charge to change the stretch of Minnesota Avenue in front of Deanwood Metro station to Davonte Washington Way.
Bellamy will be sentenced in July for Davonte’s murder as well as the murder of an off-duty Secret Service agent back in December 2015. In concurrent trials, Bellamy was found guilty of shooting and killing Arthur “AJ” Baldwin in an attempted robbery.
Forensics matched the bullets found at the scene of Baldwin’s murder with the gun Bellamy used to kill Davonte. Bellamy’s DNA was also found on Baldwin’s car.