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Gun Violence Takes a Toll on Locals’ Mental Health

December 30, 2020

Gun violence is taking its toll on a major city. According to the Metropolitan Police Department, almost 200 homicides took place in Washington, D.C. in 2020. In fact, the last time D.C. had a higher murder rate was 16 years ago.

Gun Violence is Tragic and Rampant

A homicide that shook every corner of D.C. came as the result of the District’s violence wave in 2020.

Horrifically, on December 3rd, a gunman shot and killed 15-month-old Carmelo Duncan. This happened when he sat in the back seat of his father’s car. It took place on the 5700 block of Southern Avenue in Southeast D.C. In fact, the Metropolitan Police Department is still trying to catch Duncan’s killer.

Gun Violence: The Aftermath of Duncan’s Death and Affect on the Community

There is a makeshift memorial when Duncan died just yards from where the killing occurred.

Wrapped with teddy bears and pictures of Duncan, the light pole gives the passersby the emotional tug and need to stop and take notice.

So sad. Two young mothers almost two weeks after Duncan’s death gathered at the light pole to pray.

Expressing overwhelming grief over the violence they have experienced in their community, the women declined to be named.

We are African American women who came out here because we have sons of our own, one mother said. We stand in fear and are afraid for ourselves and our children on the Washington, DC streets.

Violence, the Byproduct is Mental Health Issues

The constant violence has caused on the other mother she has experienced on the district’s streets which has taken an emotional toll.

I already suffer from mental health issues like PTSD. It furthers my PTSD and anxiety, she said. This is a very traumatic thing to deal with.

Locals in another Southeast D.C. community are coming to grips with the same trauma. This is about five miles south of where Duncan was shot.

There is another homicide one street over there, pointed out 8B04 Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Darrell Gaston. In fact, there was yet another homicide on Gainesville [Street]. It is about 300 yards from here. As a result, so every day is living in fear.”

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