Tuesday, May 04, 2004

8 Year Old - African American Girl Dies in Gun Shoot Out in Washington, DC
Here is the story........

An 8-year-old girl was killed last night as she watched television in her aunt's living room in Northeast Washington when a gunshot tore through the front window and struck her in the head, police said. The aunt also was shot.

The shots apparently were fired during a chase about 9 p.m. in the 800 block of 52nd Street NE. Those involved in the chase were not identified, but police said they doubted that the girl or her aunt was an intended target.

The killing of the girl, whom a relative identified as Chelsea Cromartie, and the wounding of her aunt evoked condemnation from Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey, who went last night to the scene, a tree-lined block of single-family houses.

"It's absolutely incredible that this kind of violence takes place on our streets," Ramsey said. He described the shootings as "the kind of tragedy that no one should stand for."

The girl, he said, was on a couch in front of the TV when a bullet struck her in the back of the head. Neighbors said that the girl apparently was visiting her aunt. They said the aunt had moved to the block less than one year ago.

The killing and the wounding came less than half an hour after three other people were hit by gunshots about three miles away, in the 2200 block of H Street NE.

No arrest had been reported in the 8-year-old's killing as of early this morning.

Police said they believe the gunshots on 52nd Street were fired by at least one teenager at one or more people in the same age range. The reason for the chase was unclear.

Investigators said they were looking into the possibility that the shooting might have been prompted by a dispute at a Northeast Washington carryout. Other explanations also were being checked.

A bullet hit the aunt in the shoulder, Ramsey said. The 38-year-old woman was taken to a hospital, and police said her condition was not believed to be life-threatening. She was not identified because she is a witness.

Police said as many as seven or eight shots were fired, at least some of them breaking a front window.

One neighbor said he was dozing in front of his television set when he heard as many as four shots. But he said he did not look out. If you do, he said, you "see the wrong thing."

The girl was taken to Children's Hospital. A spokeswoman for the hospital said she was pronounced dead at 9:42 p.m.

Investigators said a vehicle had been observed driving from the scene and that it might have been a large, older model Buick or Crown Victoria. Police said the shots might have been fired from a car.

Let's start a discussion...

This child was sitting in her aunt's home. Probably laughing, watching television, doing homework. Having fun enjoying her life as an 8 year old.

She had committed no crime.

Her only issue, was that she was born African American, in the inner city, in a neighborhood plagued with drugs, hopelessness, lack of opportunity, and a hosts of other social issues.

As a community we have a serious problem. One that should be solved by our leaders. Issues that have to be addressed. How many young bright children do we have to lose, until we realize that we as African Americans need to solve this issue?

I know all the arguements, "the man" brings drugs into our communities. "The man" doesn't invest in our neighborhoods, etc., etc., etc., etc.

Well, with our without the man, we are using young people everyday. When will we as African Americans wake up and realize we must do something!

Today I am saddened to see another life shattered. Another mother who mourns. Another family that has to grieve and bury a child.


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