Walking home from the metro yesterday, from the 10th street exit, not my normal 13th street one, I thought a lot about what had happened. I took a detoured route; I couldn’t walk on U street, as it was still partially shut down to pedestrians.
This is perhaps the most brazen act of violence that has happened in DC in the past year (unfortunately the other funeral-related shooting this year probably trumps it). It was certainly the most brazen violence on U street in 3 or 4 years, if not longer. There was a daytime shooting, on a Tuesday, outside of the bar I watch football at every Sunday.
It has become clear that this shooting took place after a funeral for a 21-year-old woman who was murdered less than two weeks ago. That, in itself, is so shocking to me. But, unfortunately, violence following a funeral for a murder victim isn’t exactly unprecedented in DC.
The people involved are mostly gang members from the Adams Morgan and Columbia Heights area. TBD wrote a great story profiling the life of Jamal Coates, the man who died. They talk a lot with Brian Weaver, former Ward 1 councilmember candidate, and long time youth worker in the Adams Morgan, who knows the 1-7 gang. He said that the shooting came out of two gangs taunting each other at the funeral. What can you say to that, other than wow? In what world do you taunt each other at a funeral of a young woman who was murdered?
Jamal Coates was trying to make his life better, get away from the life of the 1-7 crew. It’s such a familiar story. It’s so often a losing battle for people who come out of tough situations like he did.
This was a step back for our neighborhood. In reputation, of course, but also for everyone who lives here and loves it. My heart is very heavy thinking about what has happened.