WASHINGTON — Angela Bryant was on her way home from a church convention in Virginia when she received a call from her daughter that her young son was shot.
Officers responded to 8th & R Street Northwest in D.C. on Saturday night to find 15-year-old Blu Bryant with a gunshot wound. Gunshots in the area alerted the shotspotter technology before 9:30 p.m.
A second shooting victim was also found inside the Shaw - Howard U Metro stop and later released from the hospital, but the exact connection to the teenager, if any, is unclear.
Blu Bryant died hours later at the hospital.
"I'm crying and hurting," Angela Bryant said. "I was there with him, beside him, hugging on him and telling him how much I love him, but God has the last say over everything."
Based on a video from social media, her son was riding around on a dirt bike with another friend that night. Angela Bryant claimed he stopped to record a boomerang video on Instagram near the intersection when shots were fired.
"A car came and passed and just started shooting, and Blu got struck in the back of his head," she said.
She believed he may have been randomly shot and the adult victim was the intended target, but a spokesperson with the Metropolitan Police Department said it appeared Blu Bryant was the target.
In the midst of an already violent weekend in the District, his death pushed the number of homicides in the city to over 100. The number of homicides in 2022 is 104, as of Monday, which is a 21% increase from the same time last year.
The District crossed the grim threshold of 100 homicides earlier than any year since 2003. The DC Police Union placed the blame on the council's police reform legislation.
"The Council’s actions have had a chilling effect on professional and responsible policing," DC Police Union Chairman Gregg Pemberton said in a news release. "Other major cities that have passed similar legislation have also experienced the mass departure of police personnel and, as a result, surges in crime."
Angela Bryant said her son was a student at Archbishop Carroll High School who was known for his smile. He leaves behind his parents and a younger sister.
"When I think about Blu my heart gets flattered because Blu had done everything for me," Angela Bryant said. "He had my account number and even helped pay my bills. He was such a wonderful child."
The family plans to hold a balloon release at the 8th & R on Friday at 6 p.m.