- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 26, 2005

The 9-year-old boy shot in the face last month while playing outside his Northwest apartment building died yesterday, D.C. police said.

Donte Manning, who was taken off life support Friday night, died at Children’s Hospital just before 11 a.m., police said.

The person who shot Donte remains at large.

“It’s very frustrating, because we know without a doubt that someone knows who the shooter is,” Capt. C.V. Morris said. He said the lack of witnesses has slowed the investigation.

Police do not think the suspect intended to shoot Donte, who attended Meyer Elementary School in Northwest. They still do not have a motive.

“There’s been a lot of speculation, a lot of street rumors, but we don’t have [anything],” Capt. Morris said.

Capt. Morris announced yesterday afternoon that the reward for information in the case has been raised to $50,000, up from $25,000.

He said there had been some leads, but they never led to an arrest. Officers handed out fliers last night near the shooting scene.

Mayor Anthony A. Williams called the boy’s death “tragic” and said the boy’s killers will be captured.

“A foolish and cowardly act has brought his life and future hopes to a close,” Mr. Williams said. “It is hard to imagine how the perpetrators of this act could so freely take away the gift of life.”

At 9:46 p.m., March 24, Donte was playing with a group of children in front of the Warner Apartments on 13th Street NW. The shooter, standing at 13th and Euclid streets, fired a handgun up the street, hitting the boy in the face.

There was a drug raid at a nearby apartment building just minutes before Donte was shot, but police do not know whether the raid had anything to do with the shooting, Capt. Morris said.

D.C. Council member Jim Graham, Ward 1 Democrat who represents the area, said the people of the neighborhood are “deeply saddened” by the boy’s death. “We are working with his mother to relocate her to a new apartment building,” he said.

Mr. Graham said he is pleased with the improved safety at the building and that the reward has been increased. “We need somebody to come forward in the case,” he said.

The case is under investigation by the police department’s Violent Crimes branch. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call 202/727-9099.

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