A suspect has been arrested in the death of Nyiah Courtney, a 6-year-old who was alongside her mother in Washington, D.C., earlier this month when the pair were attacked by a drive-by shooter.
Marktwan Hargraves, 22, has been charged with first-degree murder while armed in connection with the July 16 slaying in southeast Washington, two law enforcement officials with knowledge of the matter told The Daily Beast. The arrest, which was first reported by The Washington Post, marks the latest development in the tragic case that sparked immediate anger in the nation’s capital and renewed scrutiny of the city’s—and country’s—gun violence.
It was not immediately clear if Hargraves, who was taken into custody Wednesday morning by D.C. Police and the U.S. Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force, had an attorney.
“I am here to announce today we have got our man,” D.C. Police Chief Robert Contee said during a Wednesday press conference announcing the arrest, stating that Hargraves was arrested inside an apartment. “The prayers of the community have been answered.”
Police say the deadly incident began just after 11 p.m. when a barrage of gunfire erupted while Nyiah was on the street with her parents and sister. Six people were shot in the incident, including Nyiah’s mother, who survived after undergoing several surgeries. The other victims suffered non-life-threatening injuries. Authorities were on the scene about 34 seconds after the first shot ran out, and Nyiah was the only fatality.
A video of the silver sedan involved in the shooting—the car was later found burned—was released shortly after the incident, and authorities offered rewards totaling $60,000 for information leading to an arrest.
“Nyiah was starting the first grade this fall and now that won’t happen and frankly that is unacceptable to me and it should be for every resident of this city,” Contee said in a press conference last week. “I am asking that we all stand together and say, ‘No more!’ I am sick and tired of being sick and tired.”