WASHINGTON — Nahem Simon shakes his head in disbelief as he shares video footage from his doorbell camera that terrified his family. Sadly, it's the second time in six months that Simon's camera has recorded the sights and sounds of murder.
D.C. police said that Sunday around 2 p.m., 13-year-old Malachi Lukes was shot and killed in an alleyway, and a 7th grader who has not been identified suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
"I have a daughter that's 16 months old," Simon said. "Who's to say a stray bullet won't come into our home and kill her?"
Just six months ago, the doorbell camera on Simon's house captured another murder in the exact same address -- the 600 block of S Street. In that incident, his camera caught not only recorded gunshots, but the screams of murder victim Tahil Byrd.
"No one is really safe, no one is bulletproof," Simon said.
ANC Ward 6 Commissioner Alexander Padro said that despite billions of dollars that have been pumped into the Shaw area over the years, the drug problem that has plagued the area has surfaced in a big way as of last fall.
While school officials say Lukes had recently transferred to Cardozo Educational Campus, he had spent years at Washington Global Public Charter School, where the injured 7th grader is a current student. Washington Global's Principal Howard Mebane called Lukes an "extremely bright student with a promising future," and said the community was "committed to embracing and supporting our current student who was tragically injured."
D.C. Police are still looking for the gunman and asking that anyone with information about this case is asked to call the police at 202-727-9099.
Here is the letter sent out to students at Lukes' current school, Cardozo.
Dear Cardozo Education Campus Parents and Families:
It is with great sadness that I inform you of the death of one of our students, Malachi Lukes. As a cherished member of the Cardozo family, he will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
Malachi’s death is a devastating loss, and it is sure to raise many emotions, concerns, and questions from our entire school, especially our students. I want to share what steps we are taking to help our community through this tragedy.
Beginning this morning, we are receiving support from the DC Public Schools Crisis Response Team—a team made up of professionals trained to help with the needs of students, parents, and staff during difficult times such as this. Members of Cardozo’s mental health team are also available to offer students space and time to talk and share their feelings.
Resources will continue to be made available to anyone who needs them. If you or any family members are upset or notice a sudden change in your child's behavior and/or health that is unexplainable to you, please contact us at (202) 673-7385. There is assistance available, and we care.
Below, I have listed two online articles that can be used as a resource as you help your teen:
On behalf of the Cardozo community, I extend my deepest condolences to Malachi’s family and friends.
Principal, Cardozo Education Campus