A 27-year-old man who worked for the Democratic National Committee was shot and killed as he walked home early Sunday in the Bloomingdale neighborhood of Northwest D.C., police and his family said.
Seth Conrad Rich died after he was shot multiple times on the 2100 block of Flagler Place NW, three blocks east of Howard University Hospital, police said.
“Worst nightmare,” Rich’s mother, Mary Rich, said by phone.
Mary Rich said police told her family her son may have been the victim of an attempted robbery.
He was talking on the phone with his girlfriend when she heard noise on Rich’s end of the line, Mary Rich said. Her son told his girlfriend not to worry about it.
“There had been a struggle. His hands were bruised, his knees are bruised, his face is bruised, and yet he had two shots to his back, and yet they never took anything,” she said.
“They took his life for literally no reason. They didn’t finish robbing him, they just took his life,” Mary Rich continued. “They hurt the community, and they hurt the long-term possibility of what he could have done.”
Rich lived in the neighborhood, Acting Capt. Anthony Haythe of the Metropolitan Police Department’s homicide branch said at a news conference Monday morning.
Fifth District police officers were patrolling the area about 4:20 a.m. when they heard gunshots, police said.
Neighbor Mike Mueller said he also heard the shots.
“I heard two sharp gunshots, very quickly. I looked at the clock and it was 4:19,” he said.
When police arrived on Flagler Place, they found Rich suffering from multiple gunshot wounds.
The Omaha, Nebraska, native was taken to a hospital, where he died.
Police have no witnesses and are searching the area for surveillance video footage, Haythe said. The acting captain said he could not comment on whether the killing was related to recent robberies in the area.
Rich worked for the Democratic National Committee, his father said.
DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz issued a statement on Monday mourning the death of Rich, who worked as voter expansion data director.
“Our hearts are broken with the loss of one of our DNC family members over the weekend. Seth Rich was a dedicated, selfless public servant who worked tirelessly to protect the most sacred right we share as Americans – the right to vote,” she said. “He saw the great potential of our nation and believed that, together, we can make the world a better place.”
Rich graduated from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, and previously worked on Democrats’ campaigns, for the U.S. Census Bureau and as a boating instructor at a summer camp, according to his LinkedIn page.
“I have an enormous interest in public service and working towards making the world a better place,” Rich wrote on the page.
The homicide rate is down in the MPD’s Fifth District, which includes Bloomingdale, Brookland and Trinidad. Seven people have been killed this year, compared with 15 people in the same period last year, police data shows.
But robberies are up. The number of reported robberies in which a gun was used rose about 12 percent, from 113 to 126. The number of robberies in which a gun was not used rose about 8 percent, from 181 to 195.
DC Water will boost security in Bloomingdale, the CEO of DC Water, George Hawkins, said in a letter to residents. The water utility will check and repair lighting and offer free transportation near the First Street Tunnel project, he said.
“No one should have to fear walking down the street in their own neighborhood,” Hawkins said in the letter.
Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to call police at 202-727-9099 or send a text message to 50411. A reward of as much as $25,000 is offered.
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