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'I think that's ridiculous' | 60% of DC homicides remain unsolved as city reaches 200-mark

A homicide on Wheeler Road Southeast Tuesday morning marked 199 homicides in 2021.

WASHINGTON — D.C. has now surpassed the total homicides in 2020 as it nears 200. The last time the city broke that number was in 2004, according to D.C. police data.

Tuesday morning around 2 a.m., D.C. Police said 62-year-old Albert Young was shot to death on the 4300 block of Wheeler Road Southeast.

“I'm always saddened when you know, Washington, D.C., my city, is going through [a] tragedy like this," community activist, Clayton Rosenberg said.

He has worked to prevent gun violence on the ground level for years, recently working with the Alliance of Concerned Men and Cure the Streets.

“Man, I think about last year, and I know we were dealing with the coronavirus, we're dealing with so many different variables to fast forward to this exact time now," Rosenberg said. "People are outside. And I think what's happening, it really has bought upon old beefs and newer beefs. And you can see it just where the incidents are taking place. It's not always at typical areas that we used to see the violence happen.”

RELATED: MPD: Man dead after shooting, suspect left 2 children at the scene

Plus, D.C. Police said about 60% of the city's homicides are unsolved as of Tuesday morning, with 119 still open as opposed to 80 closed.

“I think that's ridiculous," Rosenberg said.

Mayor Muriel Bowser's administration has implemented multiple programs to try to solve the gun violence epidemic, like Building Blocks D.C., which works to get help and resources to people who are responsible for a significant number of gun violence offenses and target specific neighborhoods.

This year, she also set up a Gun Violence Prevention Emergency Operations Center.

But, the numbers are still going up.

“There's a disconnect. When there's a new agency, there [are] new programs that's coming out, it's almost like they want to be the lone wolf. They want to be the one that says, I'm the program that got rid of violence," Rosenberg said. "It's not about that if we really want to see real change…It has to be a lot of collective agreement amongst these different agencies and programs in order to see real change that we know can happen.”

For each homicide and multiple other crimes, D.C. Police offer thousands of dollars in rewards for anyone who provides information leading to an arrest and conviction.

But, with so many cases still unsolved, WUSA9 asked police if they believed the program was effective -- producing the results they desired.

D.C. Police said they do believe the rewards are effective.

A spokesperson said last year, they made 41 payments totaling over $320,000. And, as of the end of September, they said they made 13 payments totaling $165,000.

If you have any information in any open homicide investigations, please contact D.C. Police at 202-727-9099 or by sending a text message to 50411. 

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