Man Shot in Front of D.C. Church in District's 95th Homicide of Year

A shooting victim collapsed and died on the steps of a southeast Washington church Tuesday afternoon, becoming the District's 95th homicide of the year. 

Amari Jenkins, 21, was shot multiple times about 12:10 p.m. on the 4900 block of East Capitol Street SE and then collapsed on the steps of St. Luke Roman Catholic Church, police said. 

Police are seeking a blue Honda Odyssey believed to have been used in the crime, the Metropolitan Police Department said Wednesday in an update.

A woman who was inside the church at the time of the shooting told News4's Mark Segraves she heard at least seven shots. When she looked out of a window of the church, she saw the body of the Southeast D.C. resident.  

Another witness saw a car stop in front of the church and then a man get out and open fire on Jenkins. 

Family and friends of Jenkins rushed to the scene in grief Tuesday afternoon. Detectives had placed more than 10 evidence tags on the ground, which usually indicate the location of gun casings. 

Neighbor Bradley Holmes said he empathized with the victim's loved ones. 

"I lost a son, 18 years old, to the same type of violence," he said. "It's just sickening. Real sickening. We've got to do something. Stop the violence."  

Homicides in the District are up 31 percent over the same time last year. There have been 95 homicides in the city this year. At this time last year, there had been 72 murders.

In an interview with NewsChannel 8's "NewsTalk'' program Tuesday, Police Chief Cathy Lanier said repeat violent offenders on the streets, an influx of high-powered guns and the prevalence of synthetic drugs are all factors in the homicide increase in the District.

Police are offering a reward of as much as $25,000 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the shooting. Anyone with information is asked to call police at 202-727-9099, or text message 50411. 

A sign posted Tuesday afternoon at the church where the shooting occurred read "Be calm and trust God."

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