Malik Jarrett, a person who promoted an annual block party in Southeast DC that turned into a tragedy when gunmen shot multiple people, killing a 17-year-old, on August 9, released a statement over Instagram.
The shooting claimed the life of teenager Christopher Brown, and injured 21 others, including a 22-year-old off-duty police officer, who is fighting for her life in a hospital.
In response to the question why he kept silent on the incident that took place more than a week ago near the 3300 block of Dubois Place in Ward 7, Jarrett, CEO of Elevate All the Time, explained that he was personally grieving and needed time to process what happened.
“My heart is hurting for the family of 17-year-old Christopher Brown. My deepest condolences go out to his family and I wish those who were injured a full and speedy recovery,” he wrote, adding “The shootings in our city must stop and I want to play an even greater role in finding solutions to end gun violence in our area.”
He stated that he was devastated that the event ended in violence after it was held peacefully in the past four years. He was not the coordinator of the party, but actively promoted it and was the DJ, according to the statement.
“I do not condone violence of any kind and will continue to use my platform to speak out against it, promote positivity and uplift others along the way. My life’s work over the last several years had been centered on promoting peace, love and uplifting communities. My success has been a testimony of that. Those efforts will continue on my part,” he noted. “People count on me to make better decisions and I own that on this day.”
The party that was attended by hundreds of people was widely criticized as it happened at a time when it is forbidden for more than 50 people to gather as part of the coronavirus restrictions in the city.