gun violence

2 Kids Hurt in DC Shootings in 1 Weekend, Leading to Concerns Over Gun Access

"If there is a child in the house, you should not have that weapon accessible," said Captain Kevin Kentish of the MPD. "It should be locked away."

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Police are expressing new concerns about kids having access to guns, after two young people were shot in the District over the weekend.

A 13-year-old boy identified as Cordell Williams is dead after being shot on Sunday night. Police believe that shooting, which took place on Chesapeake Street SE, may have been an accident.

His mother, 31-year-old Raven Tate, spoke briefly to News4 by phone Monday night. She described her son as a family-oriented "jokester" who liked playing football and was a typical teenager. Cordell was a 7th grader at Kramer Middle School in Southeast.

The teen's mother said he was with friends from his previous school, Monument Academy Public Charter, when police told her they were playing with a gun, and it went off.

"We do know there was a gun on the scene and some poor handling of the firearm by juveniles," said Captain Kevin Kentish of the Metropolitan Police Department. "We're not sure if this was an accident or this was intended."

Tate also described harrowing hours overnight trying to see her son’s remains. She said she wasn’t able to see his body until 12:30 p.m. Monday at the medical examiner's office.

The heartbroken mother added that she’d been struggling with Cordell recently, and the teen ran away from home before she went to work on Saturday. That was the last time Tate saw him. Now, she said she's "broken and can’t stop crying.”

Her son leaves behind three siblings.

No weapon was recovered in the shooting. The 13-year-old is the third young person to die from a gunshot wound in D.C. in 2023.

In a separate incident, a 4-year-old girl is recovering after she accidentally shot herself on Saturday. Police say she showed up at Children's National Hospital with a self-inflicted gun shot wound to her shoulder.

Investigators were at an apartment on 28th Place SE, where they believe the accidental shooting took place.

Kentish says he's concerned too many children have access to guns.

"In both cases you're mentioning, these are juveniles," said Kentish. "[They] never should have been in possession of firearms in the first place."

"If there is a child in the house you should not have that weapon accessible. It should be locked away."

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