Santa shot: Police seek suspect

WASHINGTON (WJLA) - Who shot Santa?

That's the question that has been echoing throughout a Southeast neighborhood since Christmas Eve.

Xavier Hawkins was taking part in the annual Barry Farm gift giveaway for the seventh year when he felt a burning sensation in his back from a pellet gun.

"He just giving away presents and all you want to do is shoot him in the backā€¦that's still wrong," said resident Zakiya Robertson.

Hawkins was taken to the hospital and released shortly afterwards, but the shooting still has many around in the area not only asking who, but why anyone would do such a thing.

"I mean it just tells me the community ain't never gonna change," said Dyrell Lee.

Hawkins expects to be back next year to give out presents once again, but some have a bit of advice for him that reflects the realities of this community plagued with crime:

"Put a bullet proof vest under him and tell him to come with more police and more security," said neighborhood resident Chuck Gaines.

D.C. police say they are taking the incident very seriously.