‘No words for the sense of loss:’ DC mourns the death of a toddler shot to death

The District is once again mourning the loss of a child to gun violence in the nation’s capital.

Late Wednesday night, a 15-month-old was shot and killed in Southeast D.C.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser identified the child as Carmelo Duncan of Southeast during a Thursday morning news conference.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Child dead after being shot in DC, authorities say

The mayor issued a statement early Thursday morning addressing the murder.

“There are no words for the sense of loss that our city will feel when they hear of this heartbreaking tragedy. We cannot tolerate senseless gun violence, and we must continue to come together to have the tough conversation about what we must do to eradicate it. Anyone with information about this heinous crime should reach out to MPD by calling 202-727-9099 or texting 50411. Our thoughts and prayers are with the angel we lost, his loved ones, and those who know the agony of this terrible loss.”

According to the preliminary information investigators had gathered, the shooting occurred shortly after 9:30 p.m. in the 5700 block of Southern Avenue, Southeast.

Download the FOX 5 DC News App for Local Breaking News and Weather

D.C. Police Chief Pete Newsham said the vehicle had been “shot multiple times” before it came to rest at the intersection of Southern Avenue, Southeast and Central Avenue, Southeast.

Emergency crews responded to the scene, and transported the infant to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

He has not been identified.

READ MORE: After murder of 11-year-old, DC moms forced to relive trauma of losing a child

The victim's father was driving the vehicle. Police believe another child may have been in the vehicle. No one else in the vehicle was injured.

Police say they are looking for a dark, gray SUV with dark tinted windows that was seen speeding near the scene.

Newsham cautioned that it is “unclear whether that vehicle was involved.”

Investigators believe more than one weapon was used in the shooting, and that the vehicle the child was in was targeted.

A $60,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone involved in the killing.

The toddler's death punctuates a series of  tragic incidents in the District in which the lives of children have been cut short by gun violence.

Over the summer, 11-year-old Davon McNeal was murdered at a community cookout. Two years earlier, 10-year-old Makiyah Wilson was shot to death.