A 16-year-old girl was fatally shot late Friday morning at the Potomac Gardens apartment complex in Southeast Washington, according to D.C. police.
The shooting occurred about 11:40 a.m. in the 1200 block of I Street SE, near Capitol Hill.
Two police officials said detectives do not think the girl was the target, but other authorities close to the case said the matter was still being investigated.
Police identified the victim as Breyona McMillian of Southeast.
D.C. Council member Charles Allen (D-Ward 6), who represents the area and was briefed by police, said McMillian had lived at Potomac Gardens and had returned for the holiday to visit relatives.
It appeared that McMillian had been enrolled at a boarding school in Iowa, where she was listed as a member of the volleyball team. Online records said she was a junior and was to graduate in 2018.
A GoFundMe Web page asked for help in raising money “to bury my baby” who “was only 16 years old” and lost her life “to a senseless act of violence.”
The appeal apparently was made by a relative who said she was still at a loss for words.
D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser said she was “sickened” by the violence and “the loss of a young life.”
Interim D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham visited the scene and called the shooting “horrible,” saying that a teenager on a holiday weekend “lost her life unnecessarily.” Newsham said police would work on the case “ around the clock.”
Two police officials said the shots are believed to have been fired from a car that sped into a courtyard or driveway at the complex. Police said many people were outside at the time.
Potomac Gardens, with 208 apartments, is just south of Pennsylvania Avenue and on the edge of a gentrifying area. It is about five blocks from Barracks Row, one of the District’s restaurant and nightlife areas, and around the corner from an upscale grocery store.
The public housing complex has had problems with drugs and crime stretching back before the crack epidemic that engulfed the District in violence in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Allen said police from the District and the Housing Authority have been working together to provide additional patrols at the complex.
Martin Weil contributed to this report.