D.C. police are still working to figure out how a 1-year-old boy, Legend King Wheeler, was fatally shot in a home in Southeast the day before Thanksgiving.
Chief of Police Robert Contee said Monday that he’s frustrated the child’s parents have not given formal statements about what happened.
“Those family members who were present have opted to seek counsel and as they’re seeking counsel, that makes it more difficult for us to get the story of what happened to this child,” he said.
Legend was shot inside a condo on Chester Street SE on Wednesday afternoon.
"My baby has been shot!" a witness said a man shouted in the street.
People could be heard wailing in grief.
Police are working to determine if the toddler somehow fired the gun on his own or if it went off another way. When detectives arrived, the gun was gone, Contee said.
The chief vowed to hold whoever brought the gun into the home accountable.
“Nothing that we do will ever bring this child back to life, and that is very unfortunate. For the many in our community that are wondering what happened in this case, I think the community deserves answers as well,” Contee said.
Family video footage of Legend shows a happy, playful little boy.
His maternal grandmother, Tawanda Barber, declined to speak about what happened but said Legend would be missed profoundly.
“My whole heart just dropped,” she said.
Mayor Muriel Bowser asked anyone with knowledge of illegal guns to contact police, especially if the weapons are near children.
“You may be eligible for an award, up to $2,500, or depending on the gun, up to $7,500. But more than that, it could be a 2-year-old alive. Call the police,” she said.
D.C. recently announced an increase in reward money for recovered guns. Since then, 96 guns have been recovered.
Police still haven’t recovered the gun used in the killing, but that won’t stop them from placing charges in the case, Contee said.
Police are searching for the man heard shouting in the street that his baby was shot, a police source close to the investigation told News4.
Legend’s mother declined to comment or provide the name of a lawyer who could speak on the family’s behalf.