Most July Homicides Resulted from Gun Violence, Data Shows

Twenty-one homicides happened in DC during the month of July, an approximately 10.5 percent increase from June. 

Shootings were the main cause of death for all but one of the victims, according to D.C. Witness data.

Wards 5, 6 and 7 had an increase in homicides. Wards 5 and 7 had two more homicides in July than in June. Ward 6 had one more.

Ward 7, specifically, had six homicides – more than anywhere else.

Among the homicide victims killed in Ward 7 was 24-year-old Virginia resident Muntsier Sharfi.

According to a press release, Fire and EMS personnel from Prince Georges County, Md. responded to the 3300 block of Southern Avenue, SE, for the report of an overturned vehicle. They found Sharfi in a vehicle, suffering from gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead on scene. Detectives determined that the homicide happened on the 3300 block of Erie Street, SE.

Ward 8 had five homicides in July, which was the same number of homicides recorded in June, May, March and February, data shows.

The youngest victim to die from gun violence was 6-year-old Nyiah Courtney on July 16 in Ward 8.

Police say they responded to the corner of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, SE, shortly after 11 p.m. due to a shooting that D.C. Witness previously reported. Officers found Courtney injured on the 2900 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, SE. She was pronounced dead at a local hospital. 

During a press conference, less than two weeks later, MPD Chief Robert J. Contee III told the public they have made an arrest. 

“The prayers of the community have been answered,“ he said. “I’m here to announce today that we’ve got our man.”

Marktwan Hargraves, a 22-year-old Maryland resident, has been charged with second-degree murder while armed in Courtney’s death. He is currently being held at DC Jail, and is scheduled to return to court on Aug. 18.

There was one vehicular homicide victim in July, 20-year-old Jamya Williams, who was killed by a hit-and-run at the intersection of 14th and K Street, NW.

According to a Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) press release, during the early hours of July 3, an Acura TLX was traveling at a high rate of speed when it proceeded through the intersection, despite the red light, and collided with a Hyundai Elantra that Williams was operating. Williams died from her injuries the next day.

The driver and passenger of the Acura fled on foot, police say.

The police later released a video of the person and vehicle of interest.