WASHINGTON — A 16-year-old described as “an excellent student” was killed in an attempted robbery in Northeast D.C. Wednesday night, and police said he fatally stabbed the suspect while trying to defend himself.
D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham said Thursday that Zaire Kelly, 16, a senior at Thurgood Marshall High School, was shot in an attempted robbery at about 8:30 p.m. in the 2200 block of 13th Street in Northeast.
Newsham said Kelly was on the way home from a convenience store in the area when Sequan Gillis, 19, tried to rob him. Kelly pulled out a pocket knife and tried to defend himself, Newsham said. During the struggle, Gillis then took out a gun and shot him. Both were pronounced dead at hospitals.
Newsham said Kelly was “an excellent student and aspiring athlete,” adding that his death was “a tragic occurrence.” He said he’d spoken with the boy’s mother and said “the family is devastated.”
Giliis was the only suspect, Newsham said.
On Sunday, another 16-year-old, MyAngelo Starnes, was shot and killed in Southeast D.C.
“When we have violent crime and illegal firearms are involved, the bullets don’t care how old you are; they don’t care who you are. And this is what happens in our community,” Newsham said.