According to D.C. police officials, this weekend’s Moechella, a regular concert-turned-protest launched in 2019, experienced a shooting that broke out at the intersection of 14th and U Streets NW.

A 15-year-old was killed and three people injured — including a D.C. police officer — and took place only hours after a 16-year-old girl was found shot and unresponsive in an apartment in Southeast D.C. 

Officials say that authorities broke up a number of incidents in the crowd. They started clearing the event around 8:30 p.m. because it had spilled out of the intersection — which was blocked off by city vehicles and into the surrounding streets. At that point another incident flared up at the intersection, resulting in the shooting.

Video shared on social media showed hundreds of people fleeing from the scene as the gunshots broke out.

Police later identified the teenager as Chase Poole of Northwest.

D.C. Police Chief Robert Contee said the officer and two other victims had been transported to area hospitals and were expected to survive. A gun was recovered from one of the victims, but the police have not yet found the people or the gun responsible for the fatal shooting.

Moechella, according to Chief Contee, was “unpermitted,” even though the concerts have happened in the past and was advertised as a “peaceful demonstration” to coincide with the Juneteenth celebration. It was also co-sponsored by the D.C. Housing Finance Agency, an independent government agency.

The police are considering punitive action against the organizers for the violence that broke out. “We will certainly want to make sure people are held accountable when they hold unpermitted events in our city. This is one of the reasons why we don’t want unpermitted events taking place in our city. Unfortunately, things like this can happen when you have the wrong mix of people or people who introduce firearms into a situation,” he said.

Unpermitted events like protests are a regular occurrence in D.C., and police regularly deploy officers to assist. Contee said at least 100 officers were at the scene during Moechella, which started at 4 p.m. and was set to end at 8 p.m.

In a statement posted on Instagram, Moechella organizers decried the violent end to the event.

“As we continue to cultivate a platform to uplift the culture of Washington, D.C., we don’t condone violence of any sort,” it said. “Moechella is a symbol of Black culture in D.C. and is built on the foundation of peace. Please keep this in mind moving forward as occurrences of such will not be tolerated and will result in us being stripped of the opportunity to activate our platform.”

According to NBC Washington, Mayor Muriel Bowser expressed anger over the shooting. “We have a child who was killed today at an event that did not have any proper planning for the number of people who were here and with guns involved. And with our police managing a crowd, on-site, somebody used a gun. And a child is dead,” she said.

On Twitter, Councilmember Robert White (D-At Large), who attended the event earlier in the day and is running against Bowser, expressed sadness over the deadly incident.

“Moechella has brought so many people joy since the original demonstration celebrating D.C. culture in 2019. It is devastating to see an event like this end in tragedy. Each day, our fear grows and our residents are becoming afraid to participate in a community with neighbors,” he wrote. “Ending gun violence requires urgency behind a comprehensive and coordinated approach between government and communities. We have to rise to meet this challenge together and do it urgently.”

On Instagram, Councilmember Trayon White (D-Ward 8), who is also running for mayor, shared his own disappointment. “We are supposed to be commemorating the freedom of slaves on June 19, 1865, but some of our minds are still enslaved,” he wrote. “We have to do better; time is running out.”

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