Family and friends mourn man fatally shot by DC police

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Serena Hargraves held a candle over her head and watched as the people gathered in the park released black and blue balloons into the sky. She tried to calm her breathing, but it was too much. She started to cry.

It finally dawned on her that she would never see her younger brother again.

A DC police officer shot and killed Kevin Hargraves-Shird in northwest Washington on Saturday. His family believes he was killed unjustly and has called for accountability and answers to many questions about the shooting. But on this Tuesday night, they gathered for a vigil at Fort Slocum Park in northwest Washington, near where he was murdered, to commemorate his life.

“Kevin’s character was hilarious,” Serena Hargraves, 38, told the crowd of about 150 people gathered in the park. “He was known for cheering people up and being there for everyone in times of need. He was very funny and adventurous.”

Relatives leaned on one another in the crowd, comforting those who cried as loved ones shared stories of Hargraves-Shird, 31, aka “Smoke.”

“I looked up to Kevin,” said his younger brother, Brandon Hargraves, one of eight siblings in the crowd. Hargraves-Shird was one of 14 siblings, two of whom died. “I thank my brother for that role, that love and positivity in my life.”

There is still much ambiguity about the shooting that occurred around 4 p.m. on the 200 block of Madison Street NW. It’s not clear whether a gun was pointed at the police when the officer fired — or what orders were issued by the police.

Man shot by cop in Southeast DC dies

Police said the officer saw Hargraves-Shird armed with a handgun before the officer fired a shot and hit him. Serena Hargraves, who watched a video from the officer’s body camera on Monday that has not yet been released to the public, previously told The Washington Post that he appears to have been struck in the back of the head. Hargraves said the family has given the city permission to show the video publicly.

The video, she said, shows the officer pulling out his firearm while in his cruiser, jumping out and yelling “gun” before firing.

City officials have until Friday to post the video on their website and identify the officer who fired the shot. That officer, who has not been identified, is on administrative leave.

Representatives of local racial justice advocacy groups also attended the vigil and issued a statement asking DC police for answers to the circumstances surrounding the shooting.

Serena Hargraves said Hargraves-Shird dreamed of hiring young people and teaching them entrepreneurship. Another sibling said he was “always on the move” as a child — a trait he carried into adulthood, friendships and raising his children.

A friend recounted how he rushed and told a story about the time when her son and Hargraves-Shird were boys and bought pizzas and then sold each piece for $5. The three mothers of Hargraves-Shird’s children — Khalil Shird, 15, Dahmari Wise, 13, and Symbul Logan, 12 — all spoke of his devotion to his children.

Termia Logan, 28, said he loved picking up and dropping off their daughter, Symbul, at school every day, often trying to drop Chick-fil-A off for her at lunch. His father, James Shird, 74, said his son would bring his children and let them know that this is your grandfather.

“All I can say is, ‘Kevin, I love you, but God loves you most,'” James Shird said. “And as hard as it is for me, I don’t understand. … I thank him for the time he gave me with Kevin.”

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