Our community is heartbroken and outraged by the senseless killing of a 17-year-old Roosevelt High School student, who was shot outside the school on Wednesday.
MacFarland and Roosevelt entered lockdown immediately and accounted for the safety of all other students as MPD, DC FEMS, the School Resource Officer, and school security staff responded to the incident. Then, after the area was secured, the schools and law enforcement coordinated a staggered dismissal of students. MPD officers, Safe Passage workers, and violence interrupters from the Office of the Neighborhood Safety and Engagement all responded to the scene and will maintain a presence in the area to ensure the safety of students arriving and departing from school. I also worked with DC Public Schools and their Crisis Response Team to provide mental health support and counseling to students and school staff after this tragic incident. My team and I were on scene shortly after the shooting to help coordinate the response, and we will be there the rest of this week to help the school, parents, and neighbors with anything they need. My condolences are with the student’s family and loved ones, as well as our entire Roosevelt school community.
We cannot tolerate any degree of gun violence in our city, especially near our schools. Every agency and every community needs to be mobilized to keep our children safe. First, the individuals responsible for this horrific act need to be brought to justice. MPD has asked for the public’s assistance in identifying those responsible, so residents with information or video related to the shooting should report it to law enforcement by calling 202-727-9099 or texting 50411. The likelihood of someone being apprehended and quickly prosecuted is one of the most effective deterrents of crime, so we need more residents to come forward, investigators to close more cases, and prosecutors to consistently follow through on charges against those who perpetrate violence.
At the same time, we also need to focus on taking action before a gun is fired. There need to be more interventions in the lives of young people before they make decisions that put their lives at risk. This week we secured funds in the DC budget to bring a ONSE Leadership Academy to MacFarland Middle School, which will promote positive youth development and divert at-risk students from community violence through mentorship and school-based services. Our budget also includes increased funding for social workers, mental health counselors, afterschool programs, school security infrastructure, and victim services to support students and their families.
When our children go to school, they deserve to come home.