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Teen shot and killed in Southeast Washington

The killing comes at a moment in where homicides are surging across the city this year

A teen boy was fatally shot outside of a residence in the 800 block of Yuma Street in Southeast. (Emily Davies/The Washington Post)

A teen was fatally shot in Southeast Washington on Friday, marking a deadly start to the July Fourth weekend.

Dennis Simms, 17, of Southeast, was shot outside a residence in the 800 block of Yuma Street just after 2:30 p.m., police said. Police were on the scene investigating the incident Friday afternoon. Family were also nearby stricken with grief.

“If you can imagine having one of your loved ones taken from you, and certainly so violently and absolutely before their time, it is unimaginable,” said Andre Wright, an assistant D.C. police chief.

The killing comes at a moment in the District where homicides are surging and the city is pouring resources into public safety. Thirteen people 18 or younger have been slain in the city this year.

Just a day earlier, D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) and other government officials announced new programs aimed at preventing violence over the holiday weekend. One of the initiatives will send teams of local officials into areas identified as high risk on Monday night, with a mandate of working to mediate tension before it turns deadly.

The block on Yuma Street where the teen was killed Friday is not one of the specific areas assigned to a “Safety Go Team,” police said. But multiple teams will be stationed throughout the area, according to authorities.

On Friday afternoon, council member Trayon White Sr. (D-Ward 8), community mediators and neighbors gathered near the black tent where the teen lay deceased. Wails and sobs could be heard in the distance.