Kyndall Myers, 18, was partying in Petworth the night she died, days after graduating from McKinley Tech High School, with plans for college in the fall. Blú Bryant, 15, called his mother multiple times the day he died to tell her he loved her and to make sure she drove home safely from a church convention three hours away in Virginia, she said.
The teens — one, a prizewinning cheerleader, the other, a basketball player and doting uncle and brother — were shot over the weekend in separate attacks in Northwest Washington. Their slayings were among violent incidents across the District that left nearly two dozen people wounded, four fatally.
The shootings pushed the city’s homicide count to 104, a 21 percent increase over this time in 2021, and increased pressure on city leaders to curtail the violence.
Myers and Blú also were the latest victims in a recent, disturbing trend of teenagers falling victim to violence. Twelve people 18 or younger have been slain this year in D.C., six of them this month.
“We have to stop, we have to get a hold of these kids getting access to these guns,” said Myers’s mother, Mioshia Myers, a cardiac vascular technician at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, where her daughter was taken and later died.
D.C. police said Kyndall Myers was struck in the head by a bullet fired from a vehicle into a crowd in Petworth. The gunfire also hit two juveniles, whose injuries were not serious, police said. Blú, meanwhile, was shot and killed on a dirt bike near the Shaw-Howard University Metro station. Police think he was targeted.
People “are just shooting,” Mioshia Myers said. “To them, it feels like a video game. They’re not understanding the seriousness. They’re taking lives. They’re taking children. They’re taking loved ones. It’s devastating.”
D.C. Police Chief Robert J. Contee III said officers seized 31 illegal firearms over the weekend, on top of more than 40 taken off the streets during the previous weekend. “Blows my mind,” the chief said. “I’m tired of talking condolences, prayers, condolences, prayers.”
Contee also noted that Jason Ford, 45, was fatally shot Saturday afternoon in the 1700 block of West Virginia Ave. NE by someone riding a scooter. Contee said investigators think the incident might have been a road rage dispute between Ford, who was driving a landscaping truck, and the scooter operator.
The fourth killing occurred about 12:40 a.m. Sunday when Market Ford, 23, was shot the 500 block of 50th Street NE. Police said the man does not appear to be related to Jason Ford.
Blú was shot about 9:20 p.m. in the 1700 block of Eighth Street NW, near the Shaw-Howard University Metro station. Contee said it appears the youth was targeted, though he did not know why. The boy’s mother said he stopped the bike with a friend to take a picture when he was shot.
“My heart is heavy,” Contee said. “Why would somebody target a 15-year-old?” The chief said it appears the shooter was in a vehicle and waited for the youth to ride by.
Blú’s mother, Angela Peoples-Bryant, said her son was best friends with Malachi Lukes, a 13-year-old fatally shot in March 2020 in Shaw as the two boys walked together to play basketball on a Sunday afternoon. Blú was struck in the leg in that incident. Police arrested four people in Malachi’s killing and said they thought it was part of a dispute between rival groups.
Police say they do not know whether the shootings of Blú and Malachi are linked.
Peoples-Bryant said Blú was devastated by Malachi’s death. Each week, Peoples-Bryant gave her son money for an Uber ride to get around the city when he needed it. And each week, she said, Blú chose to take an Uber to visit his friend’s grave in Northeast Washington.
Peoples-Bryant said that on Malachi’s birthday, he purchased flowers for his slain friend’s mother, Melissa Laws. On Christmas, Peoples-Bryant said, he bought earrings for her: one said Malachi, the other Melissa.
“He turned this negative into a positive after the shooting, and tried to be a role model to everyone,” Peoples-Bryant said.
Blú was born at 26 weeks, weighing just 3 pounds, 4 ounces — “a miracle baby,” his mother called him. She said she had wanted a girl and already had the name Maddisinblu picked out. But when she learned she was having a boy she decided to still name him Blú. Eleven months later, she had a girl and named the child Maddisinblu.
The siblings were a grade apart and inseparable, Peoples-Bryant said. Blú dreamed of attending Morehouse College in Atlanta. His sister wanted to enroll at Clark Atlanta University the year after, so she and her big brother could be in the same city.
“I have never seen two kids who hug each other so much and say I love you,” Peoples-Bryant said.
Blú was a sophomore at Archbishop Carroll High School and was set to start summer school Monday, his mother said. He frequently told loved ones how much they meant to him.
On Father’s Day this month, Peoples-Bryant said she hosted a pool party for the tightknit family; Blú, she said, told her to sit down and started serving guests the seafood she had prepared. The teenager would frequently complete chores for his mother and help her set up online accounts to pay bills, Peoples-Bryant said.
“That’s my baby,” she said. “My heart is broken.”
A few hours after Blú was shot, a bullet struck Kyndall Myers early Sunday outside an apartment building in the 800 block of Quincy Street NW, near where New Hampshire and Georgia avenues intersect in Petworth.
Police said she had been at a rooftop party that had been broken up by an off-duty police officer. As people congregated on the street, police said shots were fired from a vehicle, striking the teen and others.
A week earlier, Myers had strode across the stage at St. Elizabeth East Entertainment and Sports Arena, doing little cheerleader-like kicks, dressed in a white gown and red sash, as she graduated from McKinley, her mother said.
She had been a cheerleader at the school and for a league in Maryland, traveling to competitions from Las Vegas to Florida, her mother said. She got her 40-year-old mother on TikTok, recording clips over and over again until the woman could replicate a cheerleading move, her mother recalled.
“She laughed at me and I got so frustrated,” Mioshia Myers said.
An honor roll student, Kyndall Myers had her choice of several colleges, and after making four trips to its campus, she picked North Carolina Central University in Durham, near relatives, her mother said. She planned to study sports medicine and become a personal athletic trainer, her mother said.
She described her daughter as outgoing and funny, close to her two older sisters and brother, and a guardian to her little cousins. Myers wouldn’t leave the most routine of meetings without saying, “Love you, be safe.”
Mioshia Myers said that early Sunday one of her daughter’s friends called her and told her about the shooting
Her daughter didn’t have her ID when she was taken to the hospital, but Mioshia Myers said she finally located her by describing a tattoo of a butterfly on her left ankle. Mioshia Myers has the same image, on her left shoulder.
On the phone, the staff member at Washington Hospital Center told the mother to drive slowly and safely. Myers, from working there, knew what the phrase meant.
“I knew she was gone,” Mioshia Myers said.
At the hospital, Mioshia Myers said the staff let her hold her daughter’s hand one last time.
Michael Brice-Saddler, Emily Davies and Keith L. Alexander contributed to this report.