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Fatal Shooting Of 3-Year-Old Leaves D.C. Community In Grief

Ty'ah Settles is the city's youngest homicide victim this year.


The death of a three-year-old in Washington, D.C., leaves her community struck with grief. Ty’ah Settles died in the crossfire of a shooting.

Settles was the victim of a stray bullet while inside a vehicle in the Southeast area of D.C. on May 3. The Washington Post reported that she loved Mickey Mouse and dolls and anticipated beginning daycare in the fall.

She was riding in the car with her family that Friday night when gunshots erupted on the streets. Upon seeing the three-year-old was hit, the family took the young girl to a fire station. She later died at a hospital. Her loved ones spoke to Fox 5 reporters about the unnecessary loss of life.

“Ty’ah was such a beautiful young child. She had a great heart,” shared Bernard Brown, Settles’s godfather. “An individual such as myself, such as the family would never think that something so tragic would happen to one of our loved ones. And it hits home, and it hits hard.”  

While Settles is the city’s youngest homicide this year, D.C. continues to struggle with rampant gun violence. According to The Washington Post, last year was the city’s deadliest in two decades, the fifth-highest among other big U.S. cities. Victims also included 19 teenagers and young children, just like Settles. Furthermore, many areas comprised of Black residents saw an increase in homicides.

“Violence in the city right now is a difficult thing. Families are suffering. It hurts,” explained Joseph Johnson, ANC Commissioner for Southeast D.C. “Violence has no place in our community. And it’s not something I would want to happen to any child. Or any loved one. It is a tragedy.”

He added, “I think the family would want closure. I think the family would feel at ease knowing that something has been done about the situation.” 

D.C. police continue to investigate the shooting as the Settles family awaits justice for their little one. The young girl’s godfather also started a small memorial where the gunfire occurred.

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