Charnice Milton, a DC reporter, had just finished an assignment at a local meeting Wednesday night and was walking to a bus stop on her way home when she was shot and killed. The 27-year-old was simply in the "wrong place, wrong time," DC Police Chief Cathy Lanier says, per the Washington Post. The gunman, riding a dirt bike, "was trying to shoot at a different person" and instead hit Milton, who "certainly was not the intended victim," Lanier says. Police say the suspect was in a group of riders attempting to shoot someone in a second group of riders, NBC Washington reports. Milton's father goes further, claiming his daughter was used as a human shield, but Lanier wouldn't comment on that.
"At 9:28, she texted me and said, 'I'm on my way home,'" says Milton's mom. "So, I was waiting for her to text me back and let me know if she needed me to pick her up, if she needed us, where she was. And we never got that text." Milton contributed to Capital Community News publications (East of the River News and Hill Rag), and her editor says DC lost something valuable with her death: "Not only did they gun down a young woman, they also silenced one of our reporters. ... She was one of a handful of reporters across the District who was looking at the nuts and bolts of everyday life." Milton adds to the growing tally of those killed in DC—49 so far this year, and six in a recent span of six days. (Read more shooting stories.)