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Police search for 'person of interest' after high school student found shot dead in DC hotel room

Police identified the person shot as 18-year-old Akira Wilson, a senior at Jackson-Reed High School.

WASHINGTON — An 18-year-old high school student was found dead from a gunshot wound Saturday inside a hotel room in Northeast D.C., officials said. Now police are searching for a person of interest.

Members of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) responded to the 1200 block of First Street, Northeast D.C., for the report of the sound of a gunshot just before 10 p.m. 

Once on the scene, officers found a woman, inside a Hilton Garden Inn hotel room, suffering from an apparent gunshot wound, MPD said in a statement. 

DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services responded to the scene. The victim was pronounced dead on the scene after medical personnel found no signs consistent with life. The victim was identified as 18-year-old Akira Wilson of Southeast, D.C.

Friends and family say she worked at another Hilton and was out with co-workers -- a young man and a young woman -- hanging out in a room they got with an employee discount.

Police released a photo of a person of interest in connection to Wilson's death. Images of the person of interest were captured by surveillance cameras. 

Credit: MPD

Wilson was a 12th-grade student at Jackson-Reed High School, where a memorial has been created at her locker. Friends say Wilson planned to study forensics 

"She had her own business -- she made lashes and sold lashes," classmate Mia Saunders said. "She was dual enrollment. She was a really good student. She did her work. She didn't deserve it at all.

In a letter to parents, Jackson-Reed principal Sah Brown said the DCPS School Mental Health team was at the school Monday.

"Let us join in sending love and support to her family and friends as they grieve this devastating loss," Brown wrote. "As a member of the Jackson-Reed family, we know Akira will be missed by all who know her. Coping with the effects of violence is a difficult experience, and we want to support our community through this time."

Anyone with information about this case is urged to call the police at 202-727-9099. Anonymous tips can be sent to the department's text tip line by sending a text message to 50411.

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