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Three people, including 15-year-old, fatally shot in District in one day

The Washington Post logo The Washington Post 1/23/2021 Peter Hermann, Clarence Williams

A 15-year-old was among three people fatally shot in separate attacks in Southeast Washington on Thursday, a continuation of violence that marked last year as the deadliest in the District since 2004.

The teenager was identified as Dayvon Lewis of Southeast Washington.

Police said the shooting occurred at about 7:10 p.m. in the 1300 block of Congress Street SE, in the Congress Heights neighborhood. A police report says Dayvon was found four blocks away in the back seat of an abandoned blue Ford Fiesta. He had been shot once in the back.

a person wearing a blue hat: Dayvon Lewis, 15, was fatally shot inside a vehicle the night of Thursday, Jan. 22, in Southeast Washington. © Family photo Dayvon Lewis, 15, was fatally shot inside a vehicle the night of Thursday, Jan. 22, in Southeast Washington.

Authorities said that as of Friday afternoon no arrest had been made in the case, and detectives had not learned a possible motive.

“This is not a good way to start the year,” said Salim Adofo, who chairs the Advisory Neighborhood Commission for the area that includes Congress Heights. There have now been 11 homicides in the District this month, six since Monday.

Adofo said he and other residents plan to meet with police to see how they can help reduce violence and discuss what more can be done to “get some of these illegal guns off the street.”

The 198 homicide victims in the District last year — the most since 2004 — included nine people ages 17 and under, among them an 11-year-old boy shot during a stop-the-violence cookout and a 15-month-old boy struck by bullets fired at his father’s car.

All three of Thursday’s shootings were in Ward 8, where last year nearly one-third of all the District’s killings occurred. It is home to some of the most disadvantaged neighborhoods.

D.C. Council Member Trayon White Sr. (D Ward-8) said in a text message the killings are “heartbreaking in my city,” and he urged, “We have to do better as a people.”

Dayvon’s mother, Tamika Lewis, 35, said she learned of her son’s shooting shortly after it happened, and she drove to the scene. She said she has not learned much about the circumstances.

Lewis said her son liked to joke, play video games and hang out with friends. He has four brothers and one sister, and he lived with his grandparents. Lewis said she last spoke to Dayvon two weeks ago.

“I want people to remember him for his personality,” Lewis said, “and his fun-loving character. He liked to crack jokes all the time.”

Of the shooting, Lewis said, “I just feel like whoever did this needs to come forward. It’s senseless. My son was nothing but 15 years old . . . and he didn’t deserve that. He didn’t.”

Few details about Dayvon’s shooting have been made public.

[Homicides rise in District for third consecutive year as new police chief takes over]

Police said officers responded to the 1300 block of Congress Street SE based on an alert from a ShotSpotter device, which records the sounds of gunfire.

Police said they found the young victim in the vehicle about four blocks away in the 3300 block of 11th Place SE. Authorities said they believe Dayvon was shot on Congress Street and driven to 11th Place, where he and the vehicle were left.

Acting police chief Robert J. Contee III, a department veteran who took over the force earlier this month and is awaiting confirmation from the council, visited the scene Thursday night.

Contee has said the department will focus on illegal firearms and violent crime, but will also work to devise crime-fighting plans tailored to neighborhoods, to partner with residents and “stabilize communities in crisis.”

Earlier on Thursday, police said Andrew Session, 27, of Southeast Washington, was fatally shot in the 4400 block of Third Street SE, in the Washington Highlands neighborhood.

Police said they responded to the scene at about 2:45 p.m. and found the victim on a second-floor stairway landing in a residential building, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. He died at a hospital.

The person who called police reported hearing an argument followed by at least 10 gunshots. No arrest has been made.

At about 9:45 p.m., police said Damareus Scott, 27, was found fatally shot in the 1800 block of Alabama Avenue SE, in the Douglass neighborhood.

Police said Scott, of Southeast Washington, was found in front of a home and was pronounced dead on the scene. Two vehicles and a house were struck by gunfire.

Perry Stein and Magda Jean-Louis contributed to this report.

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