A violent Wednesday night in D.C. left two people dead in three separate stabbings and shootings, MPD officials say.
The first incident happened in the 4600 block of Hillside Road SE, where a 17-year-old was stabbed and killed. He has been identified as Ernest Hart of Southeast, Washington, DC.
A short time later, gunfire erupted in the 200 block of 62nd Street NE. MPD officials say that Dawon Markham, a 42-year-old Mitchellville man, was shot several times.
Markham was taken to an area hospital, where he later died.
Finally, four people were shot at a graduation party inside a house in the 1200 block of 42nd Street NE. Two women and two men who were shot and suffered non-life threatening injuries.
Neighbors saw and heard young people gathering nearby.
“They were just kids, you know? They were having a party,” said Rocky Thomas, a witness.
Neighborhood residents first thought they were hearing a couple of rounds of fireworks. They turned out to be gunshots.
“The second round of shots, that is when I heard everybody screaming,” said Rocky.
One of the guests reportedly got into a fight. He left for a moment, then came back with a gun and sprayed the crowd with bullets.
“They are good kids, they go to school, they work," said another neighbor named Ron Butler. "They’re trying to do the right thing, they were graduating from school and they were having a celebration. It just happened that the wrong element came around.”
At this time, police have very little to go on as far as a suspect. Meanwhile, residents of this neighborhood say they expect more violence now due to the time of year.
Authorities are on the lookout for a black Acura in connection to the 42nd Street Northeast shooting.
It doesn't appear the crimes are connected, but D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray takes each one personally.
The mayor says the city has plans to keep young people distracted and off the streets during these pivotal months when crime usually spikes.
"We have the One City summer initiative … to keep people engaged," he says.