The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

5 people killed this week in D.C. shootings, as lawmakers focus on city crime

The shootings occurred from Tuesday night to Friday morning in Southeast and Southwest Washington, police said

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Five people younger than 25 years old were fatally shot in less than four days this week, according to D.C. police, as homicides in the District continue to surpass last year’s deadly pace.

Traev’on Green, 16, was killed Tuesday night at 22nd Street and Alabama Ave. SE, police said.

Jalen Dyer, 21, and Tariq Richardson, 20, were killed Wednesday evening in the 4300 block of Third Street SE.

A day later, around 7:45 p.m. Thursday, 21-year-old Kristian Steward was shot and killed in the unit block of Galveston Street SW.

And in the early hours of Friday morning, 24-year-old Stephon Carroll was fatally shot in the 4400 block of E Street SE.

By Friday afternoon, police had yet to make an arrest in any of the killings or provide insight into the circumstances of the attacks. Dustin Sternbeck, a D.C. police spokesman, said the department is exploring whether any of the shootings are connected.

The deadly violence this week came as lawmakers on the House Oversight Committee prepare for a Wednesday hearing on crime and public safety in the nation’s capital. The hearing is expected to focus broadly on D.C.'s approach to reducing violent crime, with the committee chairman saying that “radical left-wing policies have led to a crime crisis” in the city.

Crime in D.C. has been top of mind for federal lawmakers in recent weeks. On March 8, the Senate voted to block the overhaul of D.C.'s criminal code — marking the first time in more than 30 years that Congress opted to overturn local legislation — in part over concerns that the measure lowered the statutory maximum penalties for violent crimes, including carjacking. Then, House Republicans took aim at the city’s policing reform bill, which was crafted in the aftermath of the police murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis in 2020 and finalized in January.

Property crime in D.C. is up 27 percent compared with the same time last year, driven largely by a surge in car thefts. Over that same period, violent crime has fallen by 2 percent but remained higher in some categories compared with pre-pandemic levels.

Homicides, in particular, have continued to climb. As of Friday, homicides in the District were up 19 percent compared with the same time last year, when the city surpassed 200 killings for only the second time in nearly two decades.

Before Dyer was killed Wednesday night, his uncle said he was in the process of finishing his final high school credit at Ballou STAY Opportunity Academy — an alternative school that allows students who struggled in traditional classrooms to get their high school diplomas and vocational training

Kevin Dyer described his nephew as a playful and loving young man devoted to his family, who at times hung around the “wrong crowd.” He was killed, according to his uncle, near where he grew up in D.C.

“If he had the chance to come back and see everyone, I believe he would come back and give everybody a big hug and tell them how much he loves them, especially his siblings,” said Kevin Dyer, a 45-year-old food services employee with D.C. Public Schools. “They were a very close family.”

Jalen Dyer was also about to become a father, his uncle said, and had a gender-reveal event scheduled for April 1.

Instead, Jalen Dyer’s girlfriend canceled the event, Kevin Dyer said, and told their family what they were expecting: A boy.

Efforts to reach the families of Richardson, of Temple Hills, Md.; Stewart, of Concord, N.C.; and Green, of Southeast Washington, were not successful. Carroll’s grandmother, reached by phone, declined to speak about her grandson, also of Southeast Washington.

Alice Crites, Meagan Flynn and Lauren Lumpkin contributed to this report.