DC violent crime, homicides continue to rise; Mass shooting leaves 1 dead, firefighter injured
WASHINGTON - A mass shooting that left one person dead in the District is the latest act of violence that has violent crime and homicide numbers rising across the nation's capital.
On Tuesday, D.C. Fire & EMS confirmed that one of the victims was an off-duty member of the department.
"Our thoughts and prayers remain with the family of the individual who lost their life and to all those who were injured," the department said in a statement. "We are supporting our brother who remains hospitalized as best as we can while he recovers. We are grateful to the men and women of D.C. Fire and EMS and Metropolitan Police who provided critical lifesaving emergency care to the victims."
Police say gunfire erupted on F Street Monday around 8:30 p.m. leaving six men shot outside the Azeeze Bates apartment complex. Officers say one person, who has been identified as 24-year-old Lance Lamont Melvin, was killed. The five other victims were hospitalized and remain in stable condition.
Police have identified the victims as Jerron Francis Plater, Ricardo Jerome Grayton, Malik Dayquan Lowe, Marcus Jevan Jr. Blair, and Willie Atha Westry.
Speaking at the scene Monday night, an angry Police Chief Robert Contee said he's saddened by the rash gun violence in the District and said the community cannot normalize these types of crimes.
"I'm saddened because I know of all the investments that this city has made - violence interruption efforts, law enforcement efforts, and community efforts. The investments that have been made to stem the tide of violence in our community," Contee said. "Yet it seems like as if we have people in our community who have just lost their sense of humanity."
According to D.C. Police crime statistics, 126 people have been killed so far this year in homicides marking a 12 percent increase since the same time last year. Violence crime and burglary cases have both risen five percent from last year. Robberies are up 20 percent and motor vehicle thefts are up three percent.
Police are also investigating a juvenile who was shot in the back early Tuesday on Fort Dupont Street.
No suspects or motives have been identified in any of the shootings.