WASHINGTON — The family of Malachi Jackson continued to mourn on Tuesday over the tragedy of losing the 15-year-old boy, a day after police say he was shot and killed in Columbia Heights. Malachi has become the youngest D.C. homicide victim of 2022.
According to investigators, the shooting occurred along the 3000 block of 13th Street NW shortly before 11 pm on Monday.
On Tuesday, Malachi's father spoke to WUSA9 and said his son was out for a run when the crime happened.
"They took my rock from me," Antwon Williams said. "He was a real beautiful and bright kid and had a lot of potential. It was an honor for me to be his father.”
Police did not release a motive for the shooting. Some of Malachi's family believe he may have been shot by a rival group but his father said it remained unclear why the crime happened.
"Peer pressure. We’ve all been through it," he said. "I only knew what I was seeing when I dropped him off at school.”
According to records from the Metropolitan Police Department, D.C. has seen 46 homicides this year.
Of the 46 cases, six have involved teenage victims. At just 15-years of age and a student at Theodore Roosevelt High School, Malachi became the youngest of those killed this year.
Violent crime has also increased by 28% compared to 2021 data.
On Tuesday, D.C. activist Sade Wright believed teenagers needed more after-school activities to prevent them from turning to crime.
"We have to start holding these children accountable. We can’t keep blaming the parents," she said. "The problem is we don’t have any programs. We don’t have the resources and the programs.”
Wright founded the Wright Family Foundation and continues to help mothers who lose their children to gun violence. Aside from adding more programs for teenagers, she said community support would go a long way to curbing crime.
"If we could put the neighbor back in neighborhood and become a village-like how we once were, then maybe we can all get back on the same page," she said.
A search for whoever shot and killed Jackson continues. A reward of up to $25,000 is being offered by MPD for any information that leads to an arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible. Anyone with information about this case is asked to call the police at 202-727-9099.
"We just want to take it one day at a time," Malachi's father said. "Try and get better as best we can. That’s all we can do.”