Who is Marktwan Hargraves? Man, 22, arrested in fatal shooting of minor girl, 6, in Washington DC
Nyiah Courtney stood outside a liquor store with her 'drug dealer' father when Marktwan Hargraves gunned her down and injured five others
PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY, MARYLAND: On Wednesday, July 28, the man suspected of killing shooting a six-year-old child by the name of Nyiah Courtney, and injuring five others in Washington, DC, including her mother and alleged drug-dealing father, was arrested.
News of the shooting comes months after the harrowing shooting outside a Times Square theatre that left three injured including a four-year-old girl. New York has seen a rise in violent crimes in recent months. According to reports, 687 people were injured or killed in police-reported gun violence through June 6, which is the most since 2000. Early this month, Governor Andrew Cuomo issued a first-in-the-nation executive order declaring gun violence in New York a 'disaster emergency'.
Around 11 pm on Friday night, officers heard gunshots at the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr and Malcolm X Avenues SE, where the toddler, Nyiah, three men, and two women were shot. All of the injured were brought to a nearby hospital for treatment. Nyiah, on the other hand, was pronounced dead, according to authorities. The adults were being treated for injuries that are not life-threatening.
MPD is thankful to all who helped us make an arrest in the senseless homicide of 6 year-old Nyiah Courtney that occurred on 7/16 in the 2900 blk of MLK Jr. Ave, SE.— DC Police Department (@DCPoliceDept) July 28, 2021
We will not tolerate the reckless actions of any individual that puts our community in jeopardy.#JusticeForNyiah pic.twitter.com/BYQldRwt0h
Who is Marktwan Hargraves?
Marktwan Hargraves, 22, is from Waldorf, according to WDVM. He is "no stranger to the criminal justice system," said DC Police Chief Robert Contee III said during a press conference on Wednesday, July 28. “We’ve got our man,” Contee said. “I stood before you just over a week ago and said we would get justice for 6-year-old Nyiah Courtney. The prayers of the community have been answered,” he added. Police found the perpetrator at a Southeast DC residence.
"I would like to recognize the community and all those who called, text, prayed, marched and communicated with our members in order to provide information that helped us bring closure to this senseless act of violence," Contee said, according to a report by Fox DC.
MPD announces an arrest has been made in the homicide of 6 year-old Nyiah Courtney that occurred on 7/16/21 in the 2900 block of Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue, SE.— DC Police Department (@DCPoliceDept) July 29, 2021
Thank you to all who assisted in bringing this case to closure!
Release: https://t.co/q1xKy8a3AT pic.twitter.com/72OpZfWt3T
Nyiah Courtney, all of six, who was about to start first grade, was gunned down in a drive-by shooting outside a liquor store in the 2900 block of MLK Jr Ave in Southeast, DC on July 16, and Hargraves was charged with first-degree murder while armed. According to Conte, the neighborhood is a notorious "drug nexus" where members of the MLK Crew drug group have been "wreaking havoc," the Daily Mail reported.
Three days after the shooting, a dozen members of the MLK Crew, including Courtney's father and another guy who was with Courtney the night of the shooting, were indicted on federal narcotics charges. Another man listed in the federal MLK Crew indictment was shot in the same spot the day before. Conte said it is 'possible' that this was a planned ambush involving the MLK Crew, but that a definitive motivation can only come from the gunman. At the news briefing, Contee also stated that Courtney's father was among those charged in the operation.
"We want to make it very clear – you may not always see it. But the investigations are happening and we believe this will make our community safer," Mayor Muriel Bowser said. Contee added: "Perhaps if they were part of the other programs we have we to offer – you know the jobs, the housing – the other things that people in communities say they want. If we got individuals who are on that track -- maybe Nyiah would be alive today."