An 18-year-old high school student was shot during an attempted robbery Tuesday morning in Southeast D.C.
The student was walking in the 1400 block of Morris Road at around 8:45 a.m. headed to school. As she was approaching a Metrobus stop, a masked gunman demanded her bag and then shot her in the upper leg.
The victim is a senior studying engineering at Phelps Architecture, Construction and Engineering High School. She was transported to the hospital, but her injuries are not life-threatening.
Police found her bag a few blocks away up against a fence. Its contents included the victim's lunch, which was spilled onto the grass in a neighbor's back yard. It's a laptop bag, but there was no laptop inside.
"Just one guy with a hood, and I guess he must have thought she had a computer with her, but she didn't have a computer, all she had was books in the bag," said Tyrone Johnson, the victim's father.
Johnson described his daughter as a quiet, shy student who is planning to go to college.
"We were lucky," Johnson said. "These things happen in the neighborhood. You see it every day, but when it happens to you, it hits home finally. You just got to be more cautious and think things through a little bit more. Just don't take anything for granted because life is very precious."
News of the shooting brought concerned citizens and activists to the scene. All of them were worried about robberies and the safety of children walking to school.
"How would you feel if that was your sister? How would you feel if that was your aunt, your cousin?" said Karen Gamble. "It's sad. She shouldn't have had to worry about her safety going to school."
As crime scene searchers sifted through the leaves in the yard, D.C. Police canvassed the neighborhood looking for anyone who may have seen the gunman running down the street or coming into a lot where he dumped the bag.
The victim's father said her mother was so traumatized by the shooting that she had to be hospitalized.
Police say there have been no arrests. They say the gunman is described as a black male who was wearing a waist-length, red jacket with white stripes on the sleeves.