Beverly Renee Fletcher was a well-known football and basketball player in her neighborhood, someone who craved sports even before girl power and the WNBA.
The 17-year-old was with a group of neighborhood friends in the 4500 block of Quarles Street NE at 11:20 p.m. Tuesday when a white car pulled up and someone with a gun reached out and started shooting. Fletcher was shot once in the chest, said Sgt. Joe Gentile, a police spokesman. She was transported to D.C. General Hospital and pronounced dead at 11:52 p.m., he said.
She is the fourth teenager to be fatally shot in the 6th Police District in the past month. Police searched yesterday for motives and suspects.
Fletcher's family gathered yesterday to mourn at her home in the 4400 block of Ponds Street NE. They brought out photographs and talked about how she was one of the few girls who enjoyed playing football on a Kenilworth Park neighborhood team. "She was a beautiful person," said her mother, Renee Louis. "She wanted to play sports and be with friends. She was always smiling." Louis said she wasn't sure why Fletcher, a sophomore at Dunbar Senior High School, was outside Tuesday night. Tiffany Ford, 17, said she heard the gunshots from inside her house. She said she and Fletcher had been friends since they attended Ronald Brown Middle School.
"I was in my kitchen and heard these shots," Ford said. "I looked out the window and I thought, 'How did this happen?' She wasn't involved in anything. She just wanted to be a basketball player."
Police have not ruled out the possibility that the shooting was related to the killings of Rowland Ford, 15, of the 1500 block of 25th Street SE, and Doniell Smith, 14, of the 2100 block of Fairlawn Avenue SE, on Halloween. The two teenagers were killed when four men wearing masks, scarves and bandannas opened fire at the boys and several friends who were returning home from a party at a skating rink. Sixth District Sgt. Michael Tartaro said Fletcher's case is under investigation.
In the fourth killing, Louis Queen, 18, of Northeast Washington, was shot late Oct. 30 near 18th and Q streets SE.
Anyone with information about any of the shootings is asked to call the police department's Crime Solvers Unit at 1-800-673-2777.
CAPTION: Beverly Renee Fletcher, 17, was known in her neighborhood as a basketball and football player.