Gun violence gripped Washington, D.C., and kept the Metropolitan Police Department busy over the weekend.
Beginning Friday, three people were killed and 18 people were wounded in 12 shootings.
About 1:45 a.m. Saturday, three men were found shot in the 600 block of 53rd Street SE. Juwaun Williams, 20, was pronounced dead at a hospital. Two other are men were treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
Saturday afternoon on Nelson Place SE, 20-year-old Kendall Brown was found shot to death inside an apartment. A court document says Brown was in a dispute with 22-year-old Amard Jefferson over who was going to pay for some missing clothing. Jefferson was charged with Brown’s murder.
Also on Saturday in the 200 block of 49th Street SE, police found 69-year-old James Beckham of Suitland, Maryland, shot to death inside a vehicle.
Chief Robert Contee has said repeatedly getting guns out of the wrong hands is a priority for him.
“That’s the common denominator,” Contee said. “People with illegal firearms.”
Contee has also said in his career he has never seen as many illegal firearms in D.C. as he sees on the streets today.
On July 29, D.C. police arrested six men in a house in the 200 block of K Street SW where they found a large number of firearms, including two assault weapons and a pistol modified to work like a machine gun. The next day, charges against four of those men were dropped and two were released.
“I think that we have to really kind of examine the whole process here and how this takes place,” Contee said. “Why is it that police serve a search warrant, multiple individuals inside, multiple firearms, how is it individual or individuals are back in the community? That’s a question that we have to really dig in to.”
In June, D.C. police found a cache of weapons inside a car in Northeast and arrested three men. The next day, the U.S. attorney’s office dropped the charges.
That office has a long-standing policy of not commenting on the reasons behind charges being dropped.
Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly reported that Kendall Brown had just started a relationship with Amard Jefferson. Court documents say Jefferson had just begun a relationship with Brown's former friend.