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18-year-old shooting victim killed over possible road rage incident, mother says

Police found Cierra Young unconscious on the ground after she was shot in Southeast, Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON — The mother of 18-year-old Cierra Young said a road rage incident could be the reason why her daughter was shot and killed on Valentine's Day in Southeast. 

D.C. police said that the shooting remains under investigation, but LaShawn Young, Cierra's mother, claimed she was told by investigators that road rage could be the possible motive. 

LaShawn Young admitted she has more questions than answers, but explained how her daughter was picked up by a friend, whom she never met or saw before, on Sunday to hang out. She received a call less than an hour later that her daughter was shot while she was in the passenger seat of the car. 

Police responded to a call of a crash at the intersection of Branch Avenue and Pennsylvania Avenue after 9 p.m., and arrived to find Cierra Young unconscious on the ground. She later died at the hospital.

The preliminary investigation revealed that the shooting happened outside of an apartment building in the 3300 block of Pennsylvania Avenue, about a block away from the intersection.

LaShawn Young said she was hit once in the shoulder.

"I just know she was in the car with a gentleman and it's supposed to be some time of road rage and some people were shooting into the car," LaShawn Young said. "They took someone that meant a lot to the whole family and I hope they're brought to justice."

Cierra Young was a senior at Theodore Roosevelt High School and was hoping to graduate this year after taking time off because of how tough it was to be in school during the height of the pandemic. 

She worked at a steakhouse in Largo for a period of time with her mother. Cierra Young also had aspirations to start her own clothing line, and recently created t-shirts named "Evol," which was a message reminding us that we live in an evil world. 

Cierra Young just became a new aunt and leaves behind a 23-year-old sister and 14-year-old brother. She also grew up dancing at Brookland Elementary and Middle Schools.

"Cierra was a lovable kid," LaShawn Young said. "She just enjoyed life all she did was smile she just wanted to be happy." 

Family and friends gathered for a peace rally at the scene Tuesday evening.

Police are offering a reward of up to $25,000 to anyone who provides information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for any homicide committed in the city. Anyone with information about this case is asked to call the police at 202-727-9099. Additionally, anonymous information may be submitted to the department’s TEXT TIP LINE by sending a text message to 50411.

RELATED: DC councilmember calls for a 'state of emergency' in the District amid excessive gun violence

RELATED: Police: 18-year-old dead after she was found shot at SE DC crash scene

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