Carmelo Duncan barely lived before he died.
Carmelo, just 15 months old, was fatally shot Wednesday night in D.C., police say. At least 10 shots hit the car his father was driving.
Police are calling it a targeted shooting. Mayor Muriel Bowser was more blunt, calling it what it truly is: a heinous crime
“The level of senselessness is impossible to process and we need everybody’s help to bring justice to this baby Carmelo and his family, and to get a very dangerous person off the streets,” D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said at a press conference Thursday. "We are all sick of the heinous crimes in our city.”
Someone opened fire about 9:30 p.m. Wednesday on a car being driven by Carmelo's father in the 5700 block of Southern Avenue SE, near the border with Prince George's County, Maryland, police say.
Carmelo was struck multiple times inside the car, Police Chief Peter Newsham said.
Firefighters and EMTs who were responding to a separate call near Southern Avenue rushed Carmelo to the hospital, where he died.
"That little baby had his whole life in front of him," Newsham said. "Somebody thought it was OK to fire a gun off in our community, and now this little baby is no longer with us."
The District has now seen 187 homicides so far this year, marking a 20% increase compared to last year.
Yet as the number of murder victims continues to climb, Carmelo's killing brings its own grim distinction.
"Carmelo was the youngest homicide victim of gun violence in the city this year," Newsham said.
Police believe multiple guns were used in the crime, although it's still early in the investigation.
Carmelo's father and another child who was in the car were not hurt.
John Ayala, founder of a Guardian Angels D.C. chapter and grandfather of 11-year-old Davon McNeal, who was shot to death on the Fourth of July, led a vigil for Carmelo Thursday evening.
“We want to get people to start reporting these crimes,” he said. “No more thinking of having that attitude of snitches get stitches. No more of that. We need to report crimes and let people know we’re not going to tolerate it.”
“First, we’ve got to get these guns off these streets,” said Wanda Ayala, Davon’s grandmother. “That’s No. 1. The community has to come together. If you know anyone that has illegal guns in your house, you need to say something.”
On Thursday morning, Newsham made a direct appeal to the community for help in the case.
"The only thing we can do to help solve their pain is trying to find the person or persons who are responsible, and we will make every effort to do that," Newsham said.
Witnesses saw a dark gray SUV with tinted windows speeding in the area. It's unclear if SUV was involved.
Police are asking anyone who saw something to call 202-727-9099.
The Metropolitan Police Department currently offers a reward of up to $25,000 to anyone that provides information which leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for homicides committed in D.C.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives has offered an additional $25,000 and the FBI Washington Field Office has offered an additional $10,000 bringing the total reward amount to $60,000.
Stay with News4 and NBCWashington.com for updates to this developing story.