WASHINGTON, DC – A Juneteenth event held in D.C. took a dark and violent turn when a shooting incident resulted in a 15-year-old boy being killed along with three others being wounded, including a police officer.
The event was dubbed “Moechella,” which was described as an “unpermitted” concert event, according to Metropolitan Police Department Chief Robert J. Contee. Apparently the concert held as a means to celebrate Juneteenth.
Police in the area had attempted to shut down the Moechella event earlier in the day following “several incidents” that transpired prior to the shooting, one of which included a fight that broke out between attendees.
Later, an unknown assailant or assailants had reportedly opened fire near where this concert was taking place off of U Street, where a 15-year-old boy was killed, and two civilians and a police officer sustained gunshot wounds. According to authorities, the three surviving gunshot wound victims are all reportedly in stable condition.
The identity of the slain teen and the three others injured in the shooting have not been revealed by officials.
Following the gunfire, attendees of the event began fleeing the area, resulting in some suffering minor injuries due to the panic causing a sort of stampede effect.
An unidentified gunman also reportedly opened fire near first responders at the intersection of 14th and U Street. However, no suspects have been taken into custody as of this time, nor have authorities detailed any possible motive in the shooting.
Chief Contee confirmed that numerous firearms were recovered at the scene of the incident.
Mayor Muriel Bowser decried both the shooting incident as well as the unpermitted event itself, citing that the lack of proper planning and permitting of this concert created a generally unsafe environment for attendees.
“We have a child who was killed today at an event that did not have any proper planning for the number of people who were here and with guns involved, and with our police managing a crowd on-site, somebody used a gun, and a child is dead.”
The D.C. mayor added that while her office and the police department will work fervently to get to the bottom of this incident, she said that there needs to be “some accountability” with respect to how this poorly-planned event served as a breeding ground for the incident.
“The chief and I will continue to make sure we have the resources we need on these corridors and all of our corridors, but we need some accountability here.”
The organizers behind the Moechella event, who could potentially face charges as a result of the unpermitted event, issued a statement asserting that they do not promote or condone any sort of violence.
“We don’t condone violence of any sort. Moechella is a symbol of black culture in D.C. and is built on the foundation of peace.”