WASHINGTON - D.C. police say they are investigating a homicide after a man was shot several times and killed while helping children off of a bus near Kimball Elementary School in Southeast D.C.
Two D.C. police patrol officers heard several gunshots ring out in the 3700 block of Ely Street at around 3:15 p.m. Thursday. But when they arrived at the scene, 28-year-old Sheldon Robinson was already dead.
His family told FOX 5 the gunfire rang out just outside of their apartment as Robinson and three children all under the age of six were just getting off a bus after coming from school.
"He shielded three children," said the victim's cousin. "He pushed them in that building for them to be safe and they took his life."
It happened just a block away from the elementary school and the Nationals Youth Baseball Academy as children were coming home from school.
"Things have changed," said former D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray. "We have got to figure out what is happening at the community level to result in the kind of tragic changes that we have seen."
Gray said Ward 7 in the District has seen a disproportionate increase in homicides.
"To have 18 murders versus 6 at the same time last year, that is absolutely remarkable and astounding," said Gray.
Robinson, who was a husband and father, is the city's 42nd homicide victim this year.
"He was a hero," the victim's cousin said. "He's my hero. He's my family's hero. He's the kids' hero. If it weren't for him, those kids probably wouldn't even be here today."
Investigators would not say if this was a targeted or random shooting.