Members of community and police in Crime Walk March 8. (Photo Courtesy/Linda Poulson)

WASHINGTON – Two anti-crime walks were conducted recently in Ward 8 neighborhoods that have suffered an infestation of crime, including one homicide, two shootings and a stabbing since Feb 29.

“The purpose of the walks is for more community residents to come and deal with relationships with the ,” said ANC Commissioner Olivia Henderson (8D) March 8 at the second walk, which included officers from MPD. “We are trying to eliminate the unwanted activities that have occurred in the community lately.”

The hot crime area appears to be between Atlantic Street, Livingston Road, 6th Street, and Chesapeake Street in Southeast D.C. These streets are within blocks of each other in some areas.  Atlantic and Chesapeake Streets run parallel with 6th Street, crossing over between the two; while Livingston and Atlantic are parallel with 3rd Street crossing over those streets.

The four street areas, particularly around 6th and Chesapeake streets, have sections of boarded up apartments. The Southeast Children’s Fund, a veteran’s housing facility, and Hendley Elementary School are close to each other. At the end of the long 4200 block of 6th Street was the corner where Rudolph Garris, 25, of Suitland, Md., was shot and killed March 1.

Detectives in the police department’s Homicide Unit have identified a suspect they believe responsible for the Garris killing.  An arrest warrant was issued for Tavon Stewart, 23, known as “Juice,” on charges of second-degree murder while armed.

The day before Garris’ death, another man was shot near 5th and Chesapeake, where another anti-crime walk was held.

“This was because of the shooting on Feb. 29,” Henderson said. “They were trying to rob a Hispanic guy; he didn’t have any money; he put his hands up, and they shot him.”

Police on motorcycles are currently lined up at the corner of 6th and Chesapeake due to the recent spike in crime. Still, despite the presence of law enforcement and the community walk calling for an end to violence, crime has continued.

Fox News reported an altercation on Chesapeake Street, which ended in a shooting on March 9. With the ambulance delayed for nearly 30 minutes, numerous officers tried to put the shooting victim in a police wagon, but the man was too big to fit.  Finally, an emergency helicopter landed near an open area of the street, and police hauled him there to be medevaced to a hospital just as the ambulance arrived.

News reports also indicated another stabbing on Atlantic Street.

Twenty homicides have occurred so far this year in the District.