Gun violence: Wells holds community forum

Three years ago, a mass shooting on South Capitol St. left four people dead, five others injured, and the region shaken. For Nardyne Jefferies, the pain lingers.

“You’re angry for certain reasons that your child is not here, and you know, it continues,” she said.

That was the night Jefferies lost her 16-year-old daughter, Brishell Jones. And on Saturday, she and dozens of others voiced their frustration over the District’s gun violence to mayoral candidate, Tommy Wells.

Wells chairs the city council’s judiciary committee, and says that if he is elected, he plans to reduce citywide crime. This year, he sponsored legislation to ban 3D-printed guns, and says that’s only the beginning.

“It's not just with police – it's creating safer area, it's better lighting on streets, it's certainly engaging neighborhoods in their own safety,” said Wells.

For residents, it was as much a campaign stop as it was a form of catharsis. Many spoke at length, saying they feel marginalized, even ignored, by a system that hasn’t stopped the violence.

After three years of reflection, Jefferies says there’s no easy answer: “Gun violence as a whole is not just the removal of guns. I mean, there are so many … pieces to this puzzle.”