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D.C. teen fatally shot near Howard Plaza Towers

19-year-old Marquis Ward was fatally shot near Howard Plaza Towers on Tuesday morning.

The 19-year-old was found lying on the ground with multiple gunshot wounds near Reverb Apartments and Howard Plaza Towers. (Juan Benn Jr./The Hilltop)

A 19-year-old D.C. resident was fatally shot beside Reverb Apartments and near Howard University’s Plaza Towers early Tuesday morning, according to the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). 

According to a statement released by MPD, Marquis Ward suffered multiple gunshot wounds on the 1200 block of 9th St at around 1:20 a.m. According to a police report, Ward was found by officers and transported to a nearby hospital where he later died from his injuries. 

MPD also located another victim, who suffered a graze wound to his finger. 

Per a safety alert email from Howard’s Department of Public Safety (DPS) at 2:06 a.m. on April 2, MPD was looking for a black SUV containing three individuals. They have not yet determined the motive of the shooting but said that the shooting is non-Howard related. The report said a rifle was used in the assault.

Crime near Howard’s campus has been a cause of concern among students recently. Though total crime in D.C. has been down 13 percent year-to-date according to MPD, areas immediately surrounding Howard’s campus have some of the highest crime rates in the city, totaling hundreds, year-to-date.

Tee Caston, a Tampa, Florida, native and sophomore TV and film major, woke up to the gunshot blasts outside his Howard Plaza Towers East residence room. When looking out of his window, he saw a swarm of police cars and ambulances outside. 

The shooting occurred at the red marker, which is right below Howard Plaza Towers and Benjamin Banneker Park. (Google Maps)

Caston said that he would’ve appreciated faster communication from DPS. “It was unfortunate that the university sent an alert an hour after the fact, and then called it a non Howard affair,” Caston said. 

“I wish we had a little more security and protection. Or an advanced warning at orientation whenever the housing options are presented,” he said. “The biggest solution to this I could see would be putting a gate around campus.” 

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Howard’s assistant vice president of strategic communications Monica Lewis said that the university became aware of the incident after it occurred. 

“The safety and well-being of Howard University students is always our top priority,” she said in a statement emailed to The Hilltop. “We remain committed to working with the Metropolitan Police Department and City leaders on actions that we can take to provide the welcoming environment that our students, employees and visitors deserve and that all feel safe while on campus and in our neighboring communities.” 

Police surrounded the crime scene at around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday. (Ileya Williams/The Hilltop)

MPD is currently investigating the fatal shooting and looking for suspects. The department is offering $25,000 to anyone with information regarding the people responsible. 

Copy edited by Alana Matthew

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