By Micha Green, AFRO Washington, D.C. Editor
Family, friends and community members are mourning and outraged at the murder of 11-year-old Karon Brown, who was involved in an allegedly targeted shooting in Southeast, D.C.
Just before 7 p.m. on July 18, members of the Seventh District responded to reports of gunshots on the 2700 block of Naylor Road, S.E. While investigating the Naylor Road shooting, the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) received a call about a child suffering from gunshot wounds, who had been taken to a Prince George’s County Fire Department Fire Station, according to MPD.
The child was then taken to a hospital, yet despite all life-saving efforts, Brown was pronounced dead.
With District homicide rates on the rise and the murders of young people such as 10-year-old Makiyah Wilson in July 2018 and 15-year-old Maurice Scott in May of this year, the city was outraged in hearing about the targeted shooting of 11-year-old Brown.
District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser held a press conference on July 22 calling on the public to assist with the removal of illegal guns on the streets.
Bowser asked for residents’ assistance after doing so helped lead police to Antoine McClam of Souheast, D.C., a suspect in Brown’s murder, who was arrested on July 20. McClam is charged with second-degree murder while armed.
“We would like to thank the community for their assistance in providing multiple tips in this case,” the Metropolitan Police Department wrote in an official statement.
“We are all pleased that MPD worked closely with the community and made an arrest in the murder of 11-year-old Karon Brown,” the mayor said at the press conference.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to Karon’s family and all the community and loved ones who mourn his loss. All loss of life, all tragic killings are mourned by people in Washington, D.C., and we pray for the victims and their families today. We know, however, that thoughts and prayers won’t be bring Karon back, or any of the people who have been victims. We also know that guns are killing people in the District and guns in the hands of wrong people are making our entire community sick,” Bowser said.
The second-term mayor is urging the public to speak up to protect the lives of District residences- both potential victims and criminals.
“As I have said throughout this weekend, there’s a lot that we can do in the government, and there’s a lot more that we can do with the community’s help. We need you to help us make our neighborhoods safe by letting us know about illegal guns. Letting us know about people who are prepared to use them, have access to them, and may need the critical help of the government,” Bowser said. “Let us know before they kill somebody. Let us know before ruining their own lives by committing this tragic homicide.”
The 11-year-old was not the only life tragically taken in the District over the past week.
A father and his teen son were killed in the Trinidad neighborhood of Northeast, D.C., just one day after Brown’s murder. Hugh Washington, 57, and son Ahkii Washington-Scruggs, 17, were found dead inside a home on the 1100 block of Queen Street Northeast.
Police found the two unconscious and unresponsive suffering from gunshot wounds. D.C. Fire and Emergency Services responded to the scene and “found that the victims displayed no signs consistent with life,” according to MPD.
In addition, Eric Byrd, 34, was killed on U Street Northwest on July 21 and Delwaun Lyona, 23 and Jamal Bandy, 27, were both killed in Southeast, D.C.
D.C. Witness reported there have been 96 homicides in the District this year alone; last year there were 86.
With the rise in homicides, Bowser announced that residents are eligible for a cash reward of up to $2,500 for a tip leading to the arrest and seizure of an illegal gun.
“Residents can provide tips on illegal guns by calling 202-727-9099 or texting 50411. #SaferStrongerDC,” the mayor wrote on Twitter.