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Neighborhood Marks Anniversary Of Southeast Mass Shooting

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The residents in this neighborhood just south of Congress Heights have not forgotten what happened here one year ago. To hear the Rev. Parker Jones tell it, most here are still looking for answers.

"We have to have long-term commitment. Commitment not only to do something today, but to have some sustained programs in place to make sure that this never happens again," Jones says.

Four teenagers -- 17-year-old Tavon Nelson, 19-year-old William Jones III, 16-year-old Brishell Jones, and 18-year-old Devaughn Boydall -- were shot and killed in what police say was a dispute over a bracelet. In spite of what some have called the worst shooting here in 16 years, many believe there is a solution to the violence.

Last year D.C. had a different mayor and many in southeast were quick to admonish what they believe was Adrian Fenty's indifference to factors which may have spawned the incident. Mayor Vincent Gray notes responsibility to prevent teen violence is shared by government and parents.

"Let's teach our kids a different set of values. That's why I'm so committed to early childhood education, so we can get these young people at the earliest possible point and teach them a set of values where they will respect life and respect themselves," Gray said.

One of the men charged in the murders, Nathaniel Simms, has plead guilty to his role in the shooting.


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