Residents of the Southeast D.C. neighborhood of Congress Heights are crying out and calling for justice after an 18-year-old was fatally shot by police. The incident occurred early Wednesday evening in Ward 8, after a call to authorities about a man brandishing a gun.
According to police accounts, now being disputed by community members, Deon Kay, 18, was one of several people surrounding a vehicle when officers responded to the report. As officers approached the car, a foot chase began when Kay and another suspect began to flee. Information obtained by the Washington Post based on body cam footage suggests that as one of the officers ran past the car to pursue the fleeing subjects, Kay pulled a gun from his waist. The cop fired at Kay, striking him in the chest.
D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services responded to the scene and Kay was taken to a nearby hospital to receive medical attention for his life-threatening injury. “After all lifesaving efforts failed, the suspect was pronounced dead,” the D.C. Metro Police Department reports. “The other suspect made good their escape and was not apprehended.”
Body cam footage from the incident has been reviewed and is expected to be released as early as Thursday. Police say Kay’s handgun was recovered at the scene, as was another pistol belonging to a 19-year-old who resides in Southeast D.C.
Kay reportedly turned 18 last month and lived with his mother, Natasha Kay, less than a mile from where he was shot. Speaking to the outlet hours after the shooting, his mother said police did not divulge much regarding the case. She is now left to mourn her son with very little answers.
On Twitter, thousands of posts mentioning the teen sent his name and story trending on the social media platform with the hashtag #JusticeforDeon. In D.C., nearly 100 demonstrators, including Kay’s family members, gathered outside of the 7th District police station to protest the department’s use of force.
One D.C. resident who converged on the scene said the shooting was an assassination. “I’m tired of that s–t because my tax money just paid for that young man to get murdered,” he emotionally stated. He encouraged people to go to the polls on November 3 to create change in the neighborhood. “We are paying them to assassinate us,” he added. “It’s not right.”