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3 shot on same SE corner where the death of a 6-year-old sparked demands for change

Two men and a woman were all shot around 11:45 a.m. nearby Mart Liquor store, in the same area where a six-year-old girl was shot and killed last year.

WASHINGTON — Three adults were shot Friday morning in Southeast, D.C. Friday by an area that has come to be known - and protested - for the criminal activity that has previously taken place there.

Two men and one woman were shot at the 2900 block of Martin Luther King Avenue around 11:45 a.m. where the July 2021 death of a 6-year-old sparked demands for change just over one year ago. 

Both men were shot in their lower bodies on the sidewalk and were conscious and breathing when police located them. The woman walked into a hospital seeking treatment for her gunshot wound.

Police are still searching for possible suspects, the caliber of the gun, and working to determine the final number of rounds fired at this time.

Officials have said that in the preliminary investigation, a car was believed to be involved in the shooting and all three victims appear to have been pedestrians.

The shooting took place nearby Mart Liquor; a store in the area that has become infamous in the community for nearby homicides in recent years.

A six-year-old named Nyiah Courtney was shot and killed next to the store in July, 2021, and the three people injured Friday were all shot within feet within feet of a mural and makeshift memorial dedicated to the slain child.

In nearby Shepherd Park, Nino Brown - a disabled woman - said she was having birthday cake with her grandsons when bullets began flying and they nearly became innocent bystander victims.

"My grandkids was here when the shooting happened and they all ran, but I fell," Brown said.

Nyiah's father, who police said was a target of the shooting that killed his daughter, was a member of a neighborhood drug gang, according to investigators. Nico Griffin was seriously wounded and has since been convicted of conspiracy to distribute drugs and sentenced to prison.

In the wake of Friday's shooting, Erica Green, who is attempting to launch a community garden in Shepherd Park in hopes of changing the culture, said she worries about the safety of innocent bystanders.

"I'm thinking what's the evacuation plan for our seniors who we know are in the park daily," Green asked.

Green says she is running for ANC commissioner for the neighborhood.

Last year, Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) crime data showed there had been 25 homicides in the three-quarter-mile radius surrounding Mart Liquor over the past two years. 

In May of 2021, dozens of people gathered outside the liquor store in protest, highlighting the trash, crime and loitering that community members said are associated with all of the liquor stores in the corridor. 

RELATED: Maryland man charged with second-degree murder in 6-year-old's death


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