D.C. High School Grad Killed by Stray Bullet

by: Briana Thomas Special to the AFRO
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A 17-year-old girl died on Aug. 12 after being struck by a stray bullet in Northeast, D.C. earlier in the week, D.C. police said. Jamahri Sydnor, a resident from Northeast D.C., was driving in the 1400 block of Saratoga Avenue, NE around 3:32 p.m. when she was shot in the head, police said.

According to police reports, on Aug. 10, two suspected shooters approached the intersections of Saratoga and Montana Avenues in the Brentwood neighborhood. The shooters hid behind bushes at the front of a residence, and opened fire at a crowd of people gathering across the street outside an apartment building.

Jamahri Sydnor, 17, was killed by a stray bullet in Northeast D.C. on Aug. 10. (Courtesy photo)

Police said Sydnor was driving through the neighborhood when she was hit by the gunfire, and then crashed into a parked car.

Authorities arrived to the scene and found Sydnor, a recent graduate of Woodrow Wilson High School in Northwest D.C., inside of the vehicle suffering from a gunshot wound. She was transported to a local hospital. The college-bound cheerleader died two days later, according to police reports.

Another victim was found at the scene suffering from a gunshot wound to the buttocks. He was transported to an area hospital for treatment, police said.

Police Chief Peter Newsham described the horrific incident as “senseless,” and urged, in a post on Twitter, the shooters to come forward. “If the others involved have any sense of decency they will turn themselves in,” Newsham said on Aug. 11 after officials made an arrest in the case on Aug. 10.

Sydnor was planning to attend Florida A&M University. She is described by members of the community and loved ones as energetic and bright. “Jamahri was a friend to everyone she met, a leader, a bright light, and an example of what we hope all Wilson students can be,” Kimberly Martin, principal at Wilson High School, told the AFRO on Aug. 15. “Her passing is an incredible shock to our community, and we lift the family in love and support.”

Sydnor sang in the school choir and was the captain of the cheerleading squad.

Martin said the school plans to memorialize Sydnor’s cheerleading uniform at the school’s first home football game on Aug. 18. She added that the school is planning to hold a vigil for the slain graduate on Aug. 21.

Leslie Sargent, Sydnor’s 11th and 12th grade guidance counselor, told the AFRO Aug. 15 that her former student will be dearly missed, “Jamarhi’s death is a loss for her family, school, and city community.”

Philip Carlos McDaniel, 21, from Northeast, was arrested and charged with assault with intent to kill on Aug. 10 in the case, police said.

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