D.C. police are seeking two teen boys as young as 15 years old after an attempted robbery that left Washington Commanders rookie running back Brian Robinson Jr. shot and wounded Sunday on H Street NE.
Robinson was shot twice after he was able to wrestle a gun away from one teen and then was shot by the second teen, Chief of Police Robert Contee told reporters Monday morning. The search for the two teen suspects is ongoing.
“What has been reported to us is that they may be between 15 and 17 years of age,” Contee said.
Robinson, 23, had just exited a location in the 1000 block of H Street NE at about 5:30 p.m. Sunday when the two armed teens approached him and tried to rob him, the police chief said.
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“Our victim in this case began to struggle with one of the suspects, was able to actually wrestle a firearm away from one of the suspects, and he was shot twice by the second suspect,” he said.
Robinson was rushed to a hospital with gunshot wounds to the knee and hip.
The teens ran from the area — a busy strip with several restaurants — and jumped into a car, which Contee said had been stolen two days earlier. D.C. police believe they found that car in Prince George’s County, in cooperation with county police.
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Police released photos of the two suspects, plus a car they were allegedly seen operating, Monday evening.
The teens had tried to take Robinson’s Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat, police said Sunday. The white luxury vehicle could be seen still parked on H Street later Sunday.
A handgun was found about a block from the scene of the shooting, police said. The department said Sunday that they were looking for two teens with shoulder-length dreadlocks, wearing black or brown shirts with yellow smiley faces.
Robinson was shot in the leg, a police report says.
The Commanders shared a message from Robinson on Monday morning. “Surgery went well! Thanks for the prayers! God is Great!” it read.
Head coach Ron Rivera said Monday that Robinson was doing well and that both the player and his doctors were positive about his recovery.
“He’s very fortunate, and it’s a very unfortunate situation," Rivera said.
There was no immediate timeline for Robinson’s return to the team.
Wearing an orange T-shirt with a message on ending gun violence, Rivera said the shooting showed, “It can happen anywhere and to anybody.”
“This continues to be a nationwide epidemic, gun violence. I think we really got to start getting to the point where we talk about gun safety,” he said.
Rivera visited Robinson on Sunday and said on Twitter that the player was “in good spirits and wanted me to thank everyone for their kind words, prayers & support.”
Robinson was selected in the third round of the most recent NFL draft and, after a strong preseason, was trending toward a major role in the team's offense during the 2022 regular season.
We ‘Need Young People to Face Consequences’
The shooting was one of several weekend shootings in the H Street NE area that put residents on edge.
“This is really shocking to have the type of violence that we’ve had the last couple days,” neighborhood activist Anwar Saleem said.
The police chief decried the “reckless use of a firearm” and spoke about the continued need to get guns off the street.
Mayor Muriel Bower spoke about the District’s multiple programs to reach “young people who are disconnected.” She had a message for families: “If you know you have a young person that’s involved in crime, that may have access to a gun, that may have a gun in your home, you need to reach out to us so that we can get them some help before they hurt someone or get hurt. But we also need young people to face consequences.”
Overall reports of violent crime in D.C. are up 3% so far this year compared to the same time last year, police data shows. Reports of assault with a dangerous weapon are down 11%.
Anyone with potentially relevant information is asked to contact D.C. police.
Stay with NBC Washington for more details on this developing story.