An 11-year-old boy who was on his way to a community cookout on Saturday was shot and killed while running into a building to get a phone charger.
John Ayala told WUSA-TV that shots rang out just after his grandson, Davon McNeal, got out of the car to head inside the building, the Associated Press reports.
The shooting happened at around 9:20 p.m. when a group of five fired shots in McNeal’s direction, Washington D.C. police said. The boy later died in the hospital.
D.C. police are asking for the public’s help in gathering information on the shooting, including any sightings of a black car they say fled the alley.
“He was just getting out of a car to go get a charger to charge his phone while he was going to a cookout, that’s it,” said Ayala, who is the chief of the Archangel Special Police, a security company. “And when he stepped out the car, the shots rang and he fell to the ground.”
“The mother thought that he was ducking to not get hit and came to find out he had got shot.”
The Archangel Special Police operates in Washington, Maryland and Virginia. The force offers armed and unarmed officers 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to prevent and deter crime.
The reason for the shooting is not yet known, WUSA-TV reports.
McNeal loved playing sports and was especially passionate about football.
“His dream was to get into the NFL. … So, this is another kid that’s not out there, causing problems, and not doing anything negative,” Ayala told the broadcast station. “He’s got good grades in school, he is doing sports, and all of a sudden he is tragically shot down in a community where he should not have been shot.”
When he wasn’t playing football, McNeal was participating in community outreach by his mother’s side.
“He was at his mother’s side trying to do something positive in the community,” Ayala said. “You’ve got a woman that is doing something positive every day, getting donations, which she could be out doing anything else, and she’s fighting against violence. And then it hits home when her own son is shot and killed.”
“And again, it wasn’t for him. He just was at the wrong place at the wrong time, but it’s still a tragedy.”
At least six children, ages six to 14, were killed in shootings across the U.S. over the holiday weekend. Secoriea Turner, eight years old, was sitting in a car with her mom when gunshots rang out in Atlanta, CNN reported.
Royta De’Marco Giles, 8, was caught in the crossfire during a shooting inside a Hoover, Ala., mall. Seven-year-old Natalia Wallace was shot in the head outside a home in Chicago, CBS-affiliate WBBM-TV reported.
An anonymous six-year-old from San Francisco, Chief of Police William Scott said in a release, was shot in what is being investigated as a “senseless homicide.”
— With files from the Associated Press
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