Gun violence reached a fever pitch in Washington, D.C. over Labor Day Weekend, with several notable shootings. This is not a new phenomenon in the District of Columbia — which has the second highest rate of gun homicides and assaults in the country — and further underscores the critical need for community-based violence intervention funding on the city level to combat this devastating trend and keep communities across D.C. safe.
On Saturday, there was a shooting in D.C. that killed three people and wounded three others. According to reports, the shooting occurred that Saturday evening, September 4, in Northwest D.C. when an individual exited a car and began to open fire on a group of people on the street.
Three other shootings occurred on Sunday, two of them on the same block in Northwest D.C. just hours apart. The first occurred in the early morning that Sunday, September 5, which resulted in one person being wounded. The second occurred in the evening that same day in which police responded to reports of a shooting in almost exactly the location where the day’s previous shooting took place, and found that one person had been shot and killed. A third shooting was reported in Northeast D.C., involving a pregnant woman who was wounded while sitting in her car.
To address this terrible violence, Washington, D.C. has taken steps to support the life-saving work of community-based violence intervention programs with historic levels of funding in the new fiscal year budget announced by Mayor Muriel Bowser in May of 2021, approved by the D.C. Council in August, and that will go into effect in October. The new funding includes provisions for employment programs, street outreach, alternative dispatch, the expansion of the DC Pathways program, and expansions for trauma-informed mental health services, among others.
Violence Intervention Program funding supports community-based violence intervention programs that apply a localized approach to reducing gun violence in the District’s hardest-hit neighborhoods. These programs apply a public health model to ending gun violence and keeping communities safe. Many community-based prevention and intervention programs in the U.S. have also adapted their strategies to inform community members about the risks of COVID-19.
If you would like to speak with a D.C. Moms Demand Action or Students Demand Action volunteer, please do not hesitate to reach out.