WASHINGTON — What started off as a beautiful Sunday in the nation's capital ended in tragedy after a 15-year-old was shot and killed in a crowd of people in Northwest, D.C. The teen was identified by police Monday as Chase Poole.
While District residents are left processing his young life being cut short, the community has a clear message: enough is enough.
Neighborhood activist Ty Hobson-Powell was set to speak at the event known as Moechella about gun violence when the shooting began near 14th and U Streets NW.
“Whoever decides they want to act up this summer and do bad things, [remember] that's people's daughters and sons," Hobson-Powell said. "They want to make it home."
The annual event was held to recognize D.C.’s rich history and celebrate Juneteenth, but Hobson-Powell said the message was muddied by senseless violence.
"I would say the same thing I was about to say to the entire crowd yesterday, which is that we're tired!" Hobson-Powell said when asked what he would say to the person who pulled the trigger.
DC police said three other people were shot, including one of their officers.
"The person who took Chase's life and brought this violence to our community must be held accountable," Contee wrote in a statement Monday.
Another community member WUSA9 spoke to said there should’ve been a different response from MPD before the shooting even happened.
“I stopped at the police barricade to show the police a picture from my book and they told me they did not have time to talk to me," Chip Py said. "They pointed over to the crowd that I had just walked from and they said, 'these guys are fighting over there.'"
Py claimed that the officers did not move toward the fight, but continued to watch.
The Washington Post reported that DC Police said they found a gun on Chase’s body, and that he'd been shot twice in the past. Their report also says it’s unclear if he was the intended target.
As the city wrestles with how to combat the rise in gun violence, Hobson-Powell said it’s going to take self-reflection from the entire community.
“At some point and time, we have to say enough is enough," he said. "It's not enough to wax poetic about what police do to Breonna Taylor, or about what happened to George Floyd if we don't also have the same level of care and concern for what's going on in our communities."
WUSA9 has reached out to the organizers of Mochella and they haven’t released an official statement to us at this time. The Instagram page "Long Live GoGo the Movement," which is listed as a "curator of Moechella," posted a note to event attendees.
"As we continue to cultivate a platform to uplift the culture of Washington DC, we don't condone violence of any sort," the post said. "Moechella is a symbol of black culture in dc and is built on the foundation of peace."
MPD is pleading with anyone who has any information about the shooting to come forward.
"We are urging community members to share any information, photos, or videos that would be of assistance in our investigative process," Contee said. "Tips are often the critical piece of information that help police identify suspects."
Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call MPD at 202-727-9099 or text anonymously to 50411.
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