16-Year-Old Girl Fatally Shot in Southeast DC

Taniya Jones died after she was shot on Third Street SE, in the Washington Highlands area

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A 16-year-old girl died after she was shot in Southeast D.C. on Sunday, the teen’s family said. 

Taniya Jones was the victim, her heartbroken mother told News4 on Monday. She was the eldest of three sisters and a rising junior at Ballou Senior High School who dreamed of becoming a pediatrician. 

“She was a full-of-life, sweet person — always playing, joking, laughing, making you smile,” Jones’ mother, Tiara Pearson, said through tears. “They took a piece of me with her. I don’t know what I’m going to do or how I’m going to make it without her.”

"They snatched my heart," Pearson added.  

Police and medics were called to an apartment in the 4400 block of Third Street SE, in the Washington Highlands area, at about 6 p.m. Sunday after reports of a shooting, police said. When they arrived, they found the victim unconscious and not breathing, they said. 

Homicide detectives were called to the scene. Police did not release information on a suspect or the circumstances of the shooting. 

A police report obtained by News4 on Tuesday categorized the tragedy as an involuntary manslaughter amid “negligent weapon handling.”

“Turn yourself in,” Tiara Pearson said, gazing straight into News4’s camera. 

Chief of Police Robert Contee said in an update Monday afternoon that police believe several people were present when Jones was shot.

Almost 100 people have died by homicide this year so far. ANC Commissioner Absalom Jordan said he’s tired of the gun violence.

“I think we need to come together as a community to start dealing with the question of the proliferation of firearms. We keep talking about all these programs that we’re supposed to have to address it, but apparently they’re not working,” he said.

Jones had been excited about getting her driver’s license and was supposed to practice driving with her mom on Tuesday.

Stay with NBC Washington for more details on this developing story. 

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