After a series of shootings in Ward 7 left four people dead over the past week, more than a hundred people gathered last night for a vigil to remember the victims and to call for action.
On a grassy hill just off of Ridge Road in Southeast D.C., residents young and old gathered to mourn the lives of four people cut short by gun violence. Some brought candles, others wore t-shirts featuring pictures of the victims. Their names: Anthony Chase, Eric Leeper, and siblings Jamal and Jamie Jenkins.
"My daughter and my son is gone," said Jamal Jenkins, father of Jamal and Jamie. "They ain't here no more, they ain't here no more."
Jenkins' grief quickly turned to anger. "It's the guns, we need to control it. It's not just gonna be my daughter and son gonna be missing, it's gonna be some other stuff going on too. It ain't gonna stop."
Several city leaders attended the vigil, including Mayor Vincent Gray, who echoed Jenkins' sentiment, and called out Congress and states with lax gun laws for fueling the violence in D.C.
"We got a Congress down here man, that needs to step up and give us the gun control laws that we need. We got good gun control laws passed in this city. These guns are coming from somewhere else: Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina—and all those places, man," he said.
Gray urged the crowd to come forward with information to help police solve the shootings.