68-Year-Old Woman in Wheelchair Killed in Southeast DC Shooting

"I don't get how the young boys get involved in this war ... and kill somebody innocent like her," Vivian Marrow's grieving son said

What to Know

  • Vivian Marrow was shot in broad daylight Monday in the D.C. neighborhood where she lived for years.
  • The mother and grandmother, who used a wheelchair, was known for giving candy and other treats to children.
  • Police are still seeking the gunman.

A 68-year-old woman sitting in a wheelchair died Monday after she was caught in gunfire in her southeast D.C. neighborhood, witnesses and D.C. police said.

Vivian Marrow was shot about 10:20 a.m. in the 2400 block of Elvans Road SE, near Suitland Parkway, as she made her daily trip to a neighborhood market.

The mother of three and grandmother of 11 was rushed to a hospital, where she died.

Vivian Marrow's Family
Vivian Marrow

Police initially believed Marrow was caught in crossfire during a gun battle, but interim Police Chief Peter Newsham said Tuesday they now believe there was one shooter.

"A grown man apparently had some kind of beef or dispute with someone else felt it was appropriate to fire multiple shots in this neighborhood," Newsham said.

Friends and family wept along the street following Marrow's death.

"It's really messed up," her son William Marrow said. "I don't know, really, a loss for words, because my mom was a wonderful lady. I know that. And she looked out for all my family and cousins."

"It hurts us because this is our aunt, this is our last aunt, and we don't have nobody now that we can go to," her niece Adrienne Nelson said. "It hurts everybody in the family."

The victim's son spoke about ongoing violence in the neighborhood.

"I don't get how the young boys get involved in this war, or whatever they call it, and kill somebody innocent like her," William Marrow said.

Witnesses said they heard at least a dozens shots.

A man in his 20s also was shot, police said. He was taken to a hospital and is expected to survive. His role in the shooting is unclear, police said.

Police initially said they were seeking a black man who was armed with a gun and had been wearing a silver jacket, black sunglasses and a black face mask. No one was arrested.

Marrow often used an electric wheelchair to get around her longtime neighborhood after she was hit by a car in the 1980s.

She was a fixture in the neighborhood, especially among children.

"She gave out candy to the kids, soda to the kids, ice cream to the kids," Nelson said. "She was a good person. Anything she had, she'd give it to the kids."

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser issued a statement Monday night about the killing. 

"There is no excuse for this type of violence," Bowser said. "Because someone engaged in reckless gunfire in broad daylight while others were outside trying to live their lives, we now have another family dealing with tragedy and another community rattled by the loss of a beloved neighbor."

ANC Commissioner Mikelle Bassett called for action. 

"We all need to come together to make something happen because this is unacceptable," she said. "This is an ongoing situation that needs to be stopped."

Newsham said at the crime scene as the investigation began that officers had made progress on stopping violence in the area. 

"We've made a lot of inroads into the crime up in this particular area. There's still some bad actors up here," he said. 

William Marrow called for the killer to surrender.

“Sitting around with the guilt that you did something like that for a period, then eventually you’re going to realize that you did a whole lot to a whole lot of people and someone’s going to say something, so you might as well turn yourself in,” he said.

Police and Bowser urged anyone with information on Marrow's murder to call police. 

"This violence must stop, and the person or people responsible for killing Vivian Marrow must be brought to justice," Bowser said. 

Tips to police can be submitted by calling 202-727-9099. To send a tip anonymously, send a text message to 50411. A $25,000 is offered for information leading to an arrest or conviction.

Vivian Marrow's family created a GoFundMe page to help fund her funderal.

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