WASHINGTON - The Labor Day holiday weekend has proved to be a violent one in the District, and the city's homicide total for the year has now reached 108. That's higher than the number of homicides that took place in all of 2014. Police are investigating multiple shootings, and a body that was found in a burning car.
In all of 2014, there were 104 homicides in D.C. The total so far is 43 percent higher than last year at the same time. There were at least four shootings reported in the District between Friday night and Sunday morning, and one of them was deadly.
Police say 55-year-old Uyer Hooper was shot and killed on 7th St. NW in the Tacoma Park neighborhood at around 3 a.m. Sunday. Dejuan Etheridge, 27, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder. Another man was also shot, but his injuries were not life-threatening. Police have not given any information on a motive in the shooting.
On Saturday night around 9:15 p.m., authorities were called to the scene of a car fire on Xenia St. SE. When the fire was out, police found a body inside the burned-out vehicle. They say the man found inside had been shot, and his death is a homicide. The victim has not been identified.
And just before midnight on Friday, 22-year-old Davon Wade was shot and killed after a party on 25th St. NE in the Langdon neighborhood. Two others were also hurt, and they were admitted to the hospital with serious injuries.
Police have not identified a single cause for the rise in crime in the District, though illegal guns and synthetic drugs are certainly part of the problem. They're trying to combat it by increasing patrols, and increasing rewards for things like reporting illegal drugs. Critics say changes that were made to the city's vice squads are to blame.