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Two Shootings in Nation’s Capital Highlight Urgency of Taking Action on Gun Violence

July 19, 2021

WASHINGTON – Everytown for Gun Safety and its grassroots networks, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, released the following statements after Washington, D.C. experienced several instances of gun violence this weekend during what has been a devastating year for gun violence in the District of Columbia and across the country. On Friday evening, a six-year-old girl was shot and killed in a drive-by shooting in a Southeast D.C. neighborhood, and on Saturday evening there was a shooting just outside a Washington Nationals baseball game, with three people shot and wounded. 

Gun violence has been rising in many cities nationwide, and while the Biden-Harris Administration has taken historic executive action on gun violence, these shootings highlight the urgency of having the Senate join them, by confirming David Chipman as ATF Director and passing life-saving background check legislation. 

“Baseball is a quintessential American pastime, and this weekend it was home to another painful, uniquely American ritual — becoming a place no longer safe from gun violence,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “This weekend in Washington we saw a six-year old girl killed in a drive-by shooting, and a baseball game erupt in chaos after a shooting just outside its gates. What we need this week in Washington is for the Senate to take action to stop the gun violence epidemic we’re seeing nationwide.”

“No other high income country tolerates the shooting deaths of children or has major sporting events evacuated due to active shooting situations,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “This is a uniquely American epidemic fueled by easy access to guns. We all must use our voices and our votes to end the gun violence epidemic.”

On the evening of Saturday, July 17, a baseball game at Nationals Park was interrupted by a shooting just outside of the stadium, near the third base entrance. Gunshots could be heard from inside the stadium, prompting a panic from fans in attendance.

From the Associated Press:

The shooting, an exchange of gunfire between people in two cars, left three people injured, according to Ashan Benedict, the Metropolitan Police Department’s executive assistant police chief. One of the people who was shot was a woman who was attending the game and who was struck while she was outside the stadium, he said… The gunshots caused panic among fans inside the stadium, some of whom ducked for cover, hiding underneath tables and behind seats as announcers warned people to stay inside the park.

Another shooting over the weekend, on Friday, July 16, occurred in a neighborhood of Southeast D.C., resulting in the tragic death of a six-year-old girl and the wounding of five adults. The incident, a drive-by shooting, is still being investigated by police.

From NBC Washington:

Officers heard shots about 11 p.m. at the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X avenues SE and saw people rushing toward them, Executive Assistant Police Chief Ashan Benedict said. The child, who officials identified as Nyiah Courtney, two women and three men were shot, police said.

In an average year in the District of Columbia, 109 people die by gun homicide and 192 are shot and wounded in gun assaults, making it the second-highest rate of gun homicides and gun assaults in the country compared to all states. That rate of overall gun deaths has also increased 29 percent over the past decade, far eclipsing the average national increase of 17 percent. Gun violence costs the District of Columbia $1.1 billion each year, of which $90.9 million is paid by taxpayers.

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