‘Hoping for the Best': College-Bound Teen Shot While Driving Car in DC; Man Arrested

"This is one of the most tragic things that I have ever seen," the D.C. police chief said

A 17-year-old girl is in critical condition after she was shot as she drove through the Brentwood neighborhood of Northeast D.C. Thursday afternoon.

The victim, who police did not name, was shot in the head, law enforcement sources told News4. The teenager was due to start college within days, D.C. police Chief Peter Newsham told News4. 

"This is a young lady who was looking forward to going to school in just a couple of days. Her mom was telling me it's the only thing she could talk about was starting her college career," Newsham said. "And now they've got the whole family at the hospital, hoping for the best."

The victim's mother is a D.C. police sergeant, sources told News4. Newsham declined to confirm that information. 

Phillip Carlos McDaniel, 21, of northwest Washington was arrested, and police are seeking two other people. McDaniel was charged with assault with intent to kill. The teen was not the intended target. 

The 17-year-old girl was driving in broad daylight less than a mile from home, on the 1400 block of Saratoga Avenue, Northeast, when someone opened fire, police said.

At least one person, standing at the intersection of Montana and Saratoga avenues, began shooting across the street at a group of people standing outside an apartment building on Saratoga Avenue, the police incident report said. 

The teen was shot and wounded. Her car, a white sedan, crashed into a parked car. Sources told News4 the girl was driving her nephew home. 

A man, who was not in the car, also was shot and wounded. 

D.C. police responded about 3:30 p.m. to the scene, which is about a half-mile northeast of the District's Home Depot store. Police cars and officers flooded the block. 

The teen girl and man, who was conscious, were both taken to a hospital. 

On Friday afternoon, she was still "struggling for her life," the police chief said. He spoke about violent, armed young people. 

"We have young men that go out there and they feel like they can resolve disputes with a firearm. What we had here is we had an innocent person that was caught up in that," Newsham said.  

"This is one of the most tragic things that I have ever seen," he continued. 

Detrea Roberson, a neighbor of the teen victim, said she was going places. 

"She is a young lady who has a mission. She's not hanging out in the street, she's working. She's trying to make something out of herself. And now's she's laying up in a hospital fighting for her life," Roberson said. 

"It's a sad thing that you can't even drive your car down the street and somebody decides they want to shoot," she continued. 

Anyone with information on the crime is asked to call police. A reward of as much as $10,000 is offered. 

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