A 22-year-old Maryland man has been charged in the shooting death of six-year-old Nyiah Courtney, after he was arrested on Wednesday.
Courtney was shot while walking on the street with her parents at around 11 pm on July 16 in Congress Heights. Six individuals were shot, including Nyiah’s mother. The victims were hospitalized, most of them with non-life-threatening injuries. Nyiah was pronounced dead at the hospital she was taken, while her mother survived.
DC Police Chief Robert Contee announced the arrest of the suspect identified as Marktwan Hargraves of Waldorf, Maryland, at a press conference on Wednesday. He has been charged with “second degree murder while armed.”
“I stood before you just over a week ago and said we would get justice for 6-year-old Nyiah Courtney,” Contee said. “The prayers of the community have been answered. I’m here to announce today that we’ve got our man.”
Police apprehended Hargraves at an apartment in Southeast DC.
“The individuals that were in that area, the individuals that were out there, day in and day out, that the community has been complaining about- they bear, in part, responsibility, for this six year old, that we’ve lost in our community,” Contee added.
The shooting took place near the intersection of Malcolm X Avenue and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Southeast DC.
The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) announced the recovery of a vehicle of interest, a silver or gray four-door sedan, early last week.
Nyiah’s father was among those indicted in connection with the incident, according to Contee. “Her father was out there in the block, it was after 11 o’clock at night, he ended up getting shot, he’s part of this indictment,” he said.
Nyiah was going to start the first grade this fall at Ingenuity Prep, where her sister is attending. “Now that won’t happen and frankly that is unacceptable to me and it should be for every resident of this city,” Contee said last week.
The school also released a statement, saying “Nyiah will be remembered by those close to her as being so full of energy, loving to dance, and sing, and so helpful to her teachers and peers.”