‘No Regard for Human Life': Officials Seek Suspects in DC Shooting

WASHINGTON — A Northeast D.C. shooting that injured a pregnant woman has pushed D.C. police and Mayor Muriel Bowser to appeal for the public’s help in finding the suspects.

Interim D.C. police Chief Peter Newsham told reporters on Wednesday, “Somebody indiscriminately walked up on a group of people and began firing.”

The shooting took place around 10 p.m. on Aug. 30 in the 1300 block of Brentwood Road Northeast. The woman, Lakira Renee Johnson, 21, was five months pregnant with twins and was shot outside a carryout in that area. Another bystander was also hit, and is expected to survive.

Four days later, Johnson went into labor and gave birth to her twins, Heaven and Nevaeh. Her twins died shortly after their birth.

Newsham said about the suspects, “They had no regard for human life; they had no regard for which way those bullets were traveling.”

Johnson went into surgery Monday to address damage to her body from the shooting. Police say that Johnson was not a target, but believe the shooting she was caught in could be connected to two recent killings. Newsham explained that Tony Gates, 24, was murdered in the 1000 block of Rhode Island Avenue on Aug. 29, and Lamar Parish, 28, was killed in the 2500 block of 14th Street Northeast on Sept. 2.

Newsham said about the string of shootings, “All of these are within blocks of the 1300 block of Brentwood Road.” That’s one reason, he said, investigators believe all three shootings are somehow related.

“It appears that in an act of retaliation that we had an innocent bystander — a 21-year-old pregnant female — that was struck,” he said.

Currently, any suspects in the Aug. 30 shooting would be charged with assault with intent to kill (gun), Newsham said.

Reporters asked if the deaths of Johnson’s twins following her shooting could boost the charges to murder, to which Newsham responded, “Right now, the U.S. attorney’s office has to do some research regarding that — it all pertains to the age of the fetuses at the time.”

Bowser appealed to the public to take a look at the surveillance camera footage police released that could help identify suspects as well as witnesses.

“We have had a deadly mix in this case and others — of illegal guns, an unaccountable justice system and foolish beefs between people in neighborhoods,” Bowser said.

She added, “We regard this as a tragedy that needs everybody’s focus and attention.”

Police are offering a $10,000 reward leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspects in the Aug. 30 shooting. Anyone who has information about this case should call D.C. police at 202-727-9099 or text their tip to 50411.

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