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Man shot and killed as a stray bullet injured an innocent 6-year-old. Two decades later, police still stumped who fired.

Source: Unsplash; Metropolitan Police Department

Dec. 17 2021, Published 12:28 p.m. ET

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A 22-year-old man was shot and killed weeks after being paroled from prison, and a 6-year-old was wounded in the incident.

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Today, 18 years later, police have no clue who fired the shots. That is despite neighbors claiming bystanders could have told them who it was the day that it happened.

Around 10:15 a.m. on Dec. 17, 2003, Jovani Jefferson was shot and killed near the corner of 51st Street and Call Place SE in Washington D.C. He later died from his injuries, according to the Metropolitan Police Department.

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Jefferson was shot in the lower back near where he lived and ran to the intersection where he collapsed and died, according to a Washington Post article at the time.

Just weeks earlier, Jefferson was paroled after serving two years on charges of car theft and possession of cocaine, according to the Post.

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A 6-year-old girl was hit by a stray bullet and taken to the hospital in serious condition. Neighbors at the time said they heard five shots, then a pause, then two more, according to the Post. They then heard cries for help, saw the victim wobbling and then lying on the ground.

Washington DC

Officers arrived and heard the victim’s aunt yelling, “You all know who did it” to the bystanders, according to the Post.

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But the shooting happened in a blighted area of the nation’s capital that was home to drug markets, according to the Post. One resident said in 2003 there were multiple shootings in the area every week. The neighbor said he doubted the shooting would curb violence.

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Police have still yet to make an arrest in the shooting. However, officers continue to ask for the public’s help in identifying Jefferson’s killer. Anyone with information is asked to contact Metropolitan police at 202-727-9099.

There is currently a $25,000 reward for anyone who provides information that leads to an arrest and conviction.


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