WASHINGTON — Family and friends of a 20-year-old Maryland woman gathered Monday night to honor her life. Jordyn Simmons was shot and killed in Southeast just before Fourth of July.
DC Police responded to the 1900 block of 18th Street in Southeast after sounds of gunfire at 11:13 pm on July 3. When officers arrived, they found Simmons suffering from a gunshot wound. She was taken to the hospital, but later died.
While Simmons' loved-ones grieved her death Monday night, DC police were investigating another killing across town.
A still-unidentified man was murdered along Minnesota Avenue and Clay Place in Northeast shortly before 3 p.m. Monday.
So far this year, 102 people have been killed in D.C., which is a 26% increase over the 81 lives cut short by this time in 2019.
The steady increase in deadly gunfire has increased the call in D.C. for crooks to put down the weapons. The murder of 11-year-old Davon McNeal, caught in crossfire, during the fourth of July weekend spurred many to action.
"I think it's disturbing to all of us, to be over 100 homicides at this point in the year,” D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham said at a press conference Monday.
With other major cities across the country also seeing an increase in murders, Chief Newsham said the problem in D.C. is familiar and preventable.
Neighborhood disputes continue to be an issue, along with increased drug deals and repeat gun offenders being released back into the community.
"We don't have a magic wand to stop this, but we definitely need to think about what we're doing right now because it's not working,” Newsham said.
Other city leaders, like the Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement Director Del McFadden, said COVID-19 is certainly a factor in the city’s increasing homicide rate, as more families grapple with uncertainty.
Talk about solutions to reduce deadly violence come as D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser is now reviewing the Emergency Police Reform Bill recently passed by the DC Council.