Ella-Mae Neal

‘Vehicle of Interest' in Death of Grandmother of 30 Found Burning on BW Parkway

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A vehicle of interest in the investigation into the fatal shooting of a 65-year-old woman outside her home in Southeast D.C. Wednesday night was found on fire on Baltimore-Washington Parkway Thursday, police said.

Ella-Mae Neal, a grandmother of 30, was in the 1800 block of Q Street SE when someone opened fire, a police report says. An officer who was patrolling the area on foot heard the shots and responded at about 10:10 p.m. Wednesday.

Neal had been shot in the leg, police said. She was taken to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead. 

"I’m feeling so terrible," said Neal's daughter, Lakisha Neal. "I can’t even express how much I’m feeling right now, because it’s just that bad."

Detectives say Ella-Mae Neal was not the intended target.

A surveillance image distributed by police showed a silver sedan. Neal's family hopes the car will provide clues leading to a suspect.

"I hope this can help with the case. I hope they can find the killer who actually did this to my mom," Lakisha Neal said.

A memorial of balloons, teddy bears, candles and flowers is in front of the victim’s house in the 1800 block of Q Street SE, where she was when the shots were fired.

"I’m so devastated they took my mom, and not only just take her away from me, you all took her away from her mom. You all didn't even let her get a chance to live her mom's age," Lakisha Neal said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police. A reward of as much as $25,000 is available. 

Metropolitan Police Department data says the city’s homicide rate for the year to date is up 35% compared to the same time last year. In 2021, 74 people have been killed, compared to 55 people by the same time last year. Assault with a dangerous weapon is up 1% and all violent crime is up 2%.

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