WASHINGTON, D.C.—A teenage boy was fatally shot in in Washington, D.C., on Sunday evening as a Juneteenth celebration drew to a close, according to city authorities. A Metropolitan Police Department officer was among three other people injured in the incident, a spokesperson said.
The shooting took place less than 2 miles from the White House, according to WFLA, at roughly 8:20 p.m.
It occurred in the midst of a bustling D.C. neighborhood hosting “Moechella,” a free concert in celebration of Juneteenth. In a press conference held shortly after the shooting, MPD Chief Robert J. Contee III called Moechella an “unpermitted event,” to which several hundred people had flocked.
Before gunfire broke out, panicking those on the block, Contee added, several prior altercations had disrupted the festival. At least two other fights had been quelled by officers on the scene for crowd control.
Officers had begun shutting down the concert, believing it to be “unsafe,” when the shooting began, the chief said.
One witness visiting from Florida told The Daily Beast that they had ducked down behind a car after the shooting started, adding that they had been scared.
A MPD officer told The Daily Beast that the shooting had occurred outside of the Subway on U and 14th Street. Authorities had also been given the command to spread out, the officer added, as the shooter remained at large and may have been “lingering in the crowd.”
More than 60 officers were on the scene on Sunday evening, with at least one helicopter circling overhead.
“I don’t even know shit going on,” one person on scene named Kay told the Beast. “This shit crazy.”
At least one illegal firearm was among several weapons recovered by police from the crowd on Sunday evening. No arrests were immediately announced.
During the press conference, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser blamed the shooting on poor event planning. “We need some accountability here,” she said.
In an Instagram livestream less than three hours after the shooting, D.C. Council Member and mayoral hopeful Trayon White (D-Ward 8) decried people who were allegedly still dancing in the streets.
“Girls still clapping…” he said. “Still partying like people weren’t just shot and killed right here.”
Metro PD Lt. Kelwin Ford told The Daily Beast just before midnight that officers were questioning suspects. While he was speaking with the Beast, an officer approached to tell the lieutenant that officers on the force were “shaken” after one of their officers had been shot.
“Definitely taking care of them,” Ford told The Daily Beast, adding that unit resources were heading to the scene.
After midnight, in an interview with The Daily Beast, Metro PD Captain Michael Pulliam said, “we do have some individuals in custody from the scene.”
“We recovered two firearms from the scene in reference to the shooting,” Pulliam added.
He concluded that 14th and U Street would be opened back up after the “blood on the street” was washed away by the D.C. fire department.