Metropolitan Police Department (DC Police / MPD)

12-Year-Old Boy Critically Injured After Shots Ring Out in Northeast DC

A 12-year-old boy is critically hurt after multiple rounds of gunfire rang out in Northeast D.C. Thursday night, police say.

D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham said the boy was shot when unknown suspects started firing dozens of times in an alley in the 4400 block of Ponds Street NE just after 7 p.m.

"It's unbelievable the amount of shell casings we found," Newsham said.

Police said the boy was not conscious or responsive when medics took him to the hospital.

Newsham said police believe the boy was a bystander and that he lives in the neighborhood.

"It looks like there were multiple firearms used. We don't know if this was an exchange of gunfire yet. It's too early to tell," Newsham said.

He said police stopped a vehicle matching a description a witness gave and officers are questioning the people who were inside.

The shooting is the latest in what has been a violent year so far in the District.

Newsham said the boy is the third child to get shot this year. 

On Sunday, a child was shot while sitting in a car on Alabama Avenue SE. A police report said officers found 10 shell casings in the area.

A young girl was injured during a brazen shooting at a busy bus stop on Pennsylvania Avenue SE on Feb. 4.

One person died and another was hurt in a shooting at a temporary staffing service in Northeast on Thursday.

Violence has been a particular problem in Northeast D.C. in recent months, and several shootings have happened in the area of Benning Road.

City officials announced last week that the FBI and federal prosecutors would take on more of D.C.'s violent crimes cases as part of an effort to curb a spike in homicides.

Federal prosecutors will target cases where convicted felons who have been released from prison are again caught using illegal guns. In addition, federal agencies such as the FBI will help investigate gun crimes.

Stay with News4 and for updates to this developing story.

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