WASHINGTON (FOX 5 DC) - In response to the recent weekend of gun violence in D.C., the Metropolitan Police Department has announced a new partnership with federal law enforcement with the goal of stopping the kind of incidents that killed a 6-year-old girl and terrified Nationals fans on Saturday.
MPD is teaming up with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and other federal officials to increase ballistic intelligence. This includes trying to link shell casings to guns, guns to suspects and getting those suspects off the streets.
D.C. police announced they have recovered all the vehicles in both 6-year-old Niah Courtney's murder and the Nationals Park shooting from this weekend.
There have not been any arrests made in either case yet, but MPD Chief Robert Contee says this new ATF partnership is an important tool. He says he believes this case will ultimately be solved by somebody coming forward from the public.
"Right now what I want the community to really focus on is that we find the individuals responsible for this by continuing to call in that information," Contee said. "The community has been tremendously in calling in tips. Keep that information coming, because we need it."
D.C. saw 198 homicides last year, the most since 2004. In 2021, the District is on pace to match or exceed that number with 101 homicides this year.
FOX 5 talked to residents who experienced Saturday's shooting at Nats Park who say they hope the crackdown will work, but it needs to be a citywide effort, not just high profile spots such as the ballpark.
"The problem is I don’t think the approaches they’re taking are going to necessarily rectify the problem that we’re dealing with, not just in this neighborhood but in DC as a whole," one resident remarked.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser did not attend the ATF partnership announcement. She has said the shootings are an example of too much gun violence in the city and that too many people are too willing to use guns.
Bowser wrote to the D.C. council this week notifying them that she has cleared D.C. police to use any overtime necessary to address this issue.