DC police shot and killed 18-year-old Deon Kay in Congress Heights Wednesday afternoon. The shooting occurred around 4 PM in the 200 block of Orange St. SE.
Police say officers arrived to the scene around 4 PM to “investigate a man with a gun” and found a group of people in and around a vehicle. Upon spotting the police, two individuals fled on foot. Police say Kay pulled out a gun while being pursued on foot, and an officer fired and wounded him. Kay was pronounced dead after arriving at a hospital.
In the body-worn camera footage of the event, the officer appears to briefly run past Kay. When the officer turns, Kay is raising what appears to be a gun in his right hand, leading the officer to fire one round into Kay’s chest. It’s unclear from the footage whether Kay was raising the gun to fire or was attempting to get rid of the gun. Another officer on the scene says, “he tossed it down there” as the officer who shot Kay walks away from the scene to look for a gun. In a press conference, DC Police Chief Pete Newsham said the officer on the scene did not believe Kay was trying to rid himself of the weapon, and that the officer saw Kay throw the weapon after he had been shot.
Officers recovered a gun on the scene police believe to be Kay’s, Newsham said. The gun was found 98 feet from where Kay was shot. “That does seem like a long way to throw a weapon,” Newsham said when inquired about the distance. The officers involved in the shooting have been put on administrative leave.
Protesters took to the streets last night and early this morning to demand justice for Kay and major reform within the DC Police Department. Last night, a group of demonstrators gathered at the Seventh District Police Precinct just hours after the shooting. And early this morning, roughly a dozen protesters with the Sunrise Movement gathered in front of Mayor Muriel Bowser’s residence to demand the firing of DC Police Chief Pete Newsham.