Investigators shut down the avenue and said they were on the lookout for six males in a brown vehicle of unknown make and model.
Council member Kenyan R. McDuffie (D-Ward 5) was on his way to a neighborhood public safety meeting a couple of miles away at Dunbar High School and detoured to the scene “to witness something really horrific — that some people were so brazen and senseless as to shoot more than 20 rounds at noon on a Saturday on Rhode Island Avenue.”
Some of the dead man’s clothes were still in the road as McDuffie and others stood to watch police investigate, he said.
“I saw what unfortunately too many residents of the District of Columbia are forced to see, the sight of yellow tape, cordoned off streets, yellow markers on the ground identifying the number of shell casings,” McDuffie said.
McDuffie said such scenes cause trauma not just to those directly involved but to people across communities.
“They carry it with them as students when they go to school and are expected to be able to focus and concentrate on their studies,” he said. “They carry it with them as senior citizens who simply want to go to the pharmacy and get their medications or go to the grocery store to get some food. They carry it with them as families when they make a decision about whether to risk going outside to the park or going to the recreation center.”
McDuffie said that police still were investigating Saturday’s shooting, but that it comes amid “a history of neighborhood rival crews who are engaging in gun violence.”
On Nov. 25, a 22-year-old man, Dante Hicks, was fatally shot along the 2500 block of Rhode Island Avenue not far from South Dakota Avenue NE in the Brookland neighborhood.
McDuffie said that while it’s important to ensure police have resources to hold criminals accountable, the District must also address economic factors underlying the violence.
“They have to do with individuals who don’t value their lives or anyone else’s,” he said. “They don’t see opportunities, they don’t wake up to a bright future for themselves and their families, and they’re willing to engage in these senseless acts of violence that put themselves and others — innocent people — in harm’s way.”