WASHINGTON (FOX 5 DC) - FOX 5 has learned multiple government entities, not just D.C. Police, were warned of potential gun violence ahead of the Southeast D.C. cookout that ended in a mass shooting early Sunday morning.
In part of an email shared with FOX 5, the 6th District Commander, Durriyyah M. Habeebullah writes: “There is a social media party planned in the 3300 block of Dubois St SE on August 6th. If you are familiar with the sponsor, please reach out as these events are prone to gun violence.”
The email included the social media flier advertising a “5th Annual Cookout” planned for Saturday, August 8, at 3301 Dubois PL SE.
Multiple entities, including multiple MPD members, the head of D.C.’s Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement (ONSE), DCRA, Ward 7 Councilmember Vincent Gray, and even the Department of Youth Services, were all among the officials and entities to be copied on Commander Habeebullah’s warning.
The email goes on to read: “We will monitor and make attempts to address but are requested additional assistance from our partners to bring relief to the community.”
A D.C. official says this is a regular note that goes out to inform certain officials of known gatherings planned for the weekend. The information appears to have been gathered by MPD’s Homeland Security Bureau.
On Monday, DC Police Chief Peter Newsham told reporters his department was now investigating why back-up was not called to assist the officers so they could safely break-up the illegal gathering.
Shots rang out at around 12:20 a.m. Sunday, August 9, after police say hundreds of people gathered for a cookout planned through social media. Twenty-two people in total were shot, including an off-duty police officer who was seriously injured, and a 17-year-old father who was killed.
City officials confirmed the gathering was in violation of D.C. COVID-19 restrictions.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser confirmed there was also illegal public drinking and drug usage at the event.
At a Monday news conference, Mayor Bowser called the situation “urgent” and called the gun violence “truly reckless” behavior, but did not address any new plans to address the increase of violence this year.
On Monday, FOX 5 learned that almost 30 9-1-1 calls were made to complain of the gathering, beginning at around 9 p.m. Saturday evening, at least three hours before shots rang out at around 12:20 p.m.
D.C. Police say more than 100 rounds were fired.
FOX 5 spoke to the family of the 17-year-old victim on Friday to learn where they stood after Monday’s news conference with the mayor and police chief.
“We want to know why? Why wasn’t this broken up when you have put these orders out here? You have the order to do it. You in that position to do that. Why not? Why not do it?” said a cousin of the victim, 17-year-old Christopher Brown.
This past week, the reward was raised to $75,000 for any information leading to an arrest.
Police officials tell FOX 5 they still need the community’s help in identifying any of the four suspects who opened fire on the crowd.