Police identify 15-year-old student they say was chased down, shot and killed in Southeast DC

Police have released the name of the young student who was shot and killed in Southeast, D.C.

Officers say 15-year-old Gerald Watson was shot to death in the 2900 block of Knox Place just after 3:30 p.m. Thursday. Investigators say Watson was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham said two suspects encountered Watson outside of an apartment complex and chased after him through the parking lot, a hallway and a stairwell before he was shot.

Newsham believes the victim was targeted by the suspects. "It doesn't make any sense. Who is going to shoot a kid?"said Newsham. "This is a holiday season. It's supposed to be a celebratory time and we are out here where a young kid and a family that is devastated by losing their son, their nephew and their grandson. I know that his grandmother and his mom live in the area."

William Haith, principal of Anacostia High School where Watson was a student, called his death a "devastating loss" and said counselors will be available to help support students, parents and staff. "As a cherished member of the Anacostia family, he will be greatly missed by all who knew him," Haith said in a statement. Anyone in need of support can contact the school at 202-698-2155.

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Newsham says investigators are reviewing video from several surveillance cameras in the neighborhood in their search for suspects. Police are offering a $25,000 to anyone that provides information which leads to an arrest and conviction. Anyone with information is asked to call police at 202-727-9099.