“There’s too much gun violence” still occurring in the city, Benedict said, in calling for information from the public. “Too many children are being harmed,” he said. “Innocent children.”
The girl died at a hospital, police said. The others suffered wounds that did not appear to be life-threatening, they said.
Few other details were available early Saturday.
The shooting apparently came to the attention of the police when officers heard gunshots, according to an account from Benedict. As the officers arrived at the shooting site, people came rushing in their direction, Benedict said.
One official familiar with the incident said investigators thought the child may have been the daughter of one of the adult victims. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the investigation, which was in its preliminary stages early Saturday.
In a tweet posted within an hour of the shooting, police said they were interested in locating a vehicle in connection with their investigation. The vehicle was described only as dark.
No motive in the shooting could be learned, and it was unclear whether any of those struck had been a target of the gunfire.
Several businesses are located near the shooting site, a major intersection in the Congress Heights area of Southeast Washington.
As police investigated, yellow tape cordoned off part of the sidewalk and roadway near one of the businesses.
The shooting site is a few hundred feet beyond the southwestern edge of the St. Elizabeths Hospital campus. It is about a half-mile west of the Congress Heights metro station.