2 Dead, 7 Hurt in Southeast DC Shooting at Community Party

One of the victims was an 18-year-old father set to start college within months

Two men were killed and seven other people were hurt when shooters opened fire Saturday night at an annual community party in Southeast D.C.

Zoruan Otto Harris, 18, and Scorpio-Rodney Alonzo Phillips, 31, died after gunfire erupted on the 2600 block of Birney Place SE, police said. Residents were attending the annual Dorsey Day community party, with food, drinks and a moon bounce for children.

National Collegiate Prepatory
Zoruan Harris

"There were multiple people out there and it looks like there were multiple shooters," Metropolitan Police Department Interim Police Chief Peter Newsham said. "There was some kind of dispute up here that resulted in gunfire."

Police were called to the block about 8:20 p.m. Harris -- a recent high school graduate with a scholarship to head to college -- and Phillips were pronounced dead at the scene.

The two people killed in a shooting at a Southeast neighborhood event on Saturday night have been identified as police continue to investigate who fired the shots. News4’s Darcy Spencer and Derrick Ward report.

Seven other people received non-life-threatening injuries, including a boy believed to be just 8 years old and two women, police said. The boy was conscious and speaking when he was taken to a hospital.

Two people are dead and seven people are injured, including one child, after a shooting at an outdoor event in southeast D.C. Saturday night, police say.

On Sunday, relatives of the victims spoke out against the violence.

"I want to see justice...I want the person that shot my cousin -- I want them done...in jail for life," said Lashawn, Phillips' cousin.

Harris, known to his friends as Von, was the father of a 1-year-old boy and had graduated from National Collegiate Preparatory in Southeast in the spring. He was headed to college in January, relatives said. 

"Everything was just going his way," Harris' uncle said. "He always had a lot of smiles and...he was just always upbeat."

Family of Scorpio Phillips
Scorpio Phillips

Witnesses told News4 that ambulances were delayed in arriving at the scene. Fire department officials provided a time line showing that ambulances arrived within 7 minutes 30 seconds from when they were dispatched, which falls within department guidelines.

At least four of the people shot, including the child, made it to a hospital without being transported by D.C. Fire and EMS.

No arrests had been made as of Monday morning, and police said they did not know how many shooters opened fire. Police were talking to "some folks," Newsham said. 

Multiple people were shot Saturday night and two people were killed in southeast D.C., police say. News4’s Darcy Spencer and Mark Segraves report.

"Because of the fact that there were so many people up here, we have a pretty good sense that we're going to be able to get to the bottom of what exactly occurred," he said.

Residents and the interim police chief condemned the shooting.

"This shouldn't happen. Folks ought to be able to come out here an enjoy a nice event on a nice evening, and the fact that you would have some violent offenders out here doing this kind of thing, hurting young people, hurting women and you have two folks that are killed -- it shouldn't happen," Newsham said.

Dorsey Day was created to honor a resident known for his support of the community.

ANC Commissioner Paul Trantham expressed frustration. 

"Here we go again. Violence in Southeast -- gun violence and the chief of police and the mayor still refuse to put out the vice squad, people out here that can control our streets, patrol our streets and keep our streets safe," he said. 

Contact Us