WASHINGTON - Police are continuing their investigation after an 18-year-old college student from Maryland who was home on spring break was shot and killed in Northeast D.C. The shooting happened after Ayana McAllister had just finished being part of a rap video shoot.
McAllister, a freshman and criminal justice major at Saint Augustine’s University in Raleigh, North Carolina, returned home to Upper Marlboro, Maryland earlier this week.
Investigators say she was shot in the 4300 block of Benning Road in Northeast D.C. at around 8:40 p.m. Monday. After filming ended, shots rang out and McAllister was hit. She was transported to a local hospital where she died Tuesday from her injuries. A second woman was also shot, but is recovering.
“We lost the life of a young woman because someone felt as though it was okay to discharge a firearm in our community,” Acting D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham said. “Young people ought to be able to come into our community and enjoy themselves without being nervous that a gun is going to be pulled out and someone is going to wind up dead.”
No arrests have been made in connection to the shooting. Newsham added many people at the scene had cell phones and police are asking anyone with video or information about what happened to come forward. D.C. Councilmember Charles Allen joined Newsham in asking for the public's help in finding anyone connected to the shooting.
McAllister graduated from Largo High School where she played on the basketball team. She was part of the Maryland State Police cadet program and came home once a month to participate. Her dream was to become a detective in the Special Victims Unit, and help people who have been abused or mistreated.
McAllister's mother, Tyreese, told FOX 5 that she forgives her daughter's killer.
“I forgive you for killing my daughter and I’m going to pray, whether you are caught or not, that you realize that life is so precious and you would just never pick up a gun again, and that you do everything that you can to honor her memory and do something with your life,” the emotional mother said.
"On behalf of the entire Saint Augustine's University family, we would like to express our earnest and deep-felt condolences to the McAllister family," said Dr. Everett B. Ward, president of SAU in a statement released to FOX 5. "We ask that Falcons near and far keep in prayer this celebrated and respected Saint Augustine's family, Anthony McAllister, '88, wife Tyreese and daughter Ndaja, '20, as they mourn the tremendous loss of their daughter and sister."
Investigators are offering a $25,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction in the case.