Crime: July 4 Parade Shooting in Chicago, K St. Homicide, D.C. Crime Rate Under Fire


Headlines from this Fourth of July weekend are dominated by news of Chicago’s Highland Park Independence Day parade mass shooting, leaving 6 dead and dozens injured, ages 8 to 85. The nation’s capital, however, saw no such mass casualty events.

From the White House, President Biden issued a July 4th statement declaring that he and first lady Jill Biden were “shocked by the senseless gun violence that has yet again brought grief to an American community on this Independence Day.”

In a now familiar pattern, Highland Park police announced an arrest of the alleged shooter – Robert E. Crimo III, a 22 year-old White male “rapper.” Nancy Rotering, Mayor of Highland Park, announced the gunman had legally obtained what local police described as the “high-powered rifle” believed to have been used in the rooftop strafing of parade attendees at approximately 10:00 a.m on Independence Day.

Curiously, Mayor Rotering said she knew the suspect when he was a young boy. “I knew him as somebody who was a Cub Scout when I was the Cub Scout leader – and it’s one of those things where you step back, and you say, ‘What happened?’” she said. (Washington Post)

Expressing the exasperation of the community, 31-year-old Hollywood actress Rachel Brosnahan –  star of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” – who grew up in Highland Park and always looked forward to the Fourth of July parade there, tweeted, “Enough is enough is enough is enough is enough is enough is enough is enough is enough.” (Washington Post)

The Nation’s Capital

Meanwhile, in the nation’s capital – which saw a mass shooting as recently as June 19 at the Juneteenth “Moechella” event at 14th and U Streets NW, leaving 4 injured and one 15-year-old dead – the major Fourth of July weekend events, including a parade, a concert, a folk life festival and fireworks on the mall, remained secure.

Prior to the festive weekend, D.C. mayor Muriel Bowser and Metropolitan Police Chief (MPD) Chief Robert Contee held a press conference on public safety initiatives. “We want to have a weekend of fun, not tragedy,” Bowser said, as she and Chief Contee proceeded to describe the creation of violence interrupting “Go Teams” to be deployed “to engage residents in areas where large gatherings [were] anticipated.” The mayor has also set up a Nightlife Task Force to enhance safety along “busy corridors such as U Street NW, H Street NE and Connecticut Avenue NW with the goals of reducing crime, addressing ATVs, and enforcing traffic and parking rules. (Chris Kain, The DC Line)

Meanwhile, criticisms of the District’s crime-management policies by Republican leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives have become more pronounced, leading to worries about D.C.’s home rule. “GOP lawmakers on the House Judiciary and Oversight committees say that Ms. Bowser needs to be held accountable for crime spiking by 11% over the past year,” the Washington Times’s Haris Alic wrote. “All Americans should feel safe in their capital city, but radical left-wing policies have enabled rampant crime in the District of Columbia,” said Rep. James Comer (R – K.y.) who joined conservative representative Jim Jordan of Ohio in a letter demanding a briefing on crime from the District’s mayor. (Chris Kain, The DC Line.)

Local Crime

Local crime concerns, however, continued unabated over the Fourth of July weekend. Detectives from the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) are investigating a homicide that occurred on Sunday, July 3, in the 1600 block of K St. NE. At approximately 9:55 p.m., police were called about a shooting. Upon arrival, they encountered an “adult male victim suffering from an apparent gunshot wound.” Following life-saving attempts by DC Fire and EMS, the victim was pronounced dead in hospital. The victim’s identity is being withheld pending next of kin notification.

On July 4, MPD detectives announced an arrest was made on a Misdemeanor Sexual Abuse Offense that occurred the day before in the 4700 block of Reservoir Road, NW. At approximately 11:17 a.m., the suspect approached the victim, “engaged in unwanted sexual contact,” and then “fled the scene.” On Sunday, July 3, 45-year-old Victor Parker “of no fixed address” was arrested and charged.

On July 3, MPD announced the arrest of 23-year-old Maleek Fletcher of southeast D.C. on an Armed Robbery (Knife) Offense stemming from an incident on the 1400 block of 7th St. NW on June 27. On July 1, MPD also arrested 25-year-old Lafayette Davis “of no fixed address” for engaging in “unwanted sexual contact” with a victim. Davis is charged with Misdemeanor Sexual Abuse.

On July 1, MPD asked for public assistance in finding a suspect in an Armed Robbery (Gun) Offense from an incident on the 2400 Block of Wisconsin Avenue NW.  Second District detectives released surveillance photos pertaining to the crime occurring on Friday July 1. At “approximately 2:52 p.m., the suspect entered” the establishment and once inside “brandished a handgun and demanded money and property” from an employee who complied with the demand. The suspect then “fled the scene.”

MPD announced that the department “currently offers a reward of up to $25,000 to anyone [who] provides information which leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for each homicide committed in the District of Columbia. Anyone with information about this case is asked to call the police at 202-727-9099. Additionally, anonymous information may be submitted to the department’s TEXT TIP LINE by sending a text message to 50411.”

Editors’ note: the incidents reported here are culled from police reports and have not necessarily been adjudicated or resolved; a legal presumption of innocence applies.


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