A drive-by shooting just outside a busy Metro in Washington, D.C., left a 23 year-old, recent college grad dead Saturday. The killing brought the total number of murders so far this year up to 93, inching it closer to the 105 the city saw all of last year.
Matthew Shlonsky, a former intern for Sen. Rob Portman, was not the intended target of the drive-by shooting, Fox News reports.
Shlonsky was getting out of a cab at about 5 p.m. just down the street from the Howard University train stop. He was on his way to meet up with some friends for a going away party, The Washington Post reports.
The next thing he knew, he was struck by a bullet and laying face up in the street. When police arrived, they found Shlonsky unconscious and attempted to perform CPR. It was too late, though, and Shlonsky was pronounced dead at the nearby Howard University Hospital.
Shlonksy studied international relations at American University, and was seen by many as a young man with a bright future. One of Shlonsky’s friends told The Post he was a role model loved by all his friends back home in Cleveland who was going to make it far in life.
“This is almost like your favorite TV show ending when the show just started getting good,” Aris Ford-Hall told the newspaper. “He had just graduated college and started a job.”
Shlonsky is the second of two American University graduates killed during the summer-long murder spike in our nation’s capital. The first, Kevin Sutherland, was brutally stabbed to death in a crowded train on Independence Day.
Sutherland was on a train headed downtown to enjoy the fireworks and festivities when Jasper Spires, 18, attempted to steal his cellphone. Sutherland fought back and a struggle ensued.
Spires then punched Sutherland several times in the face before the two fell to the ground and Spires then stabbed Sutherland nearly 40 times while onlookers watched in horror.
When the train came to a stop, Spires darted off of the train and didn’t even bother to take the phone he tried to steal.
Spires was found by police the following day after a city-wide manhunt.
In response to the murder of Shlonsky, the American University Student Government released a statement that said, in part, “we are once again forced to reckon with the heartbreaking loss of a friend and brother withing the American University community.
“Everyone who knew Matt will remember him for his warmth and brightness of spirit.”
Shlonsky was another victim in the city’s recent spat of deadly gun violence, and the fourth in a week in the Shaw neighborhood. Earlier in the Summer, on Memorial Day, a 31-year-old mother was shot and killed by a stray bullet during a cookout.
On Thursday, Mayor Muriel Bowser and the city’s police chief got together to brainstorm ways to combat what Bowser called “an unacceptable spike in homicides.”
Those ideas include developing new deployment strategies, setting up new lighting and cameras in troublesome neighborhoods, and the mayor said she is even considering “legislative changes” to combat gun violence.
That same morning, city police set up a “community outreach tent” just a few blocks from where Sholnsky was killed. Police officers will man the tent 24 hours a day to take reports and hand out informational pamphlets in the crime-plagued neighborhood.
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