Cameras capture of images of the suspects who shot Waashington Commanders running back Brian Robinson Jr. during a carjacking in northeast D.C. (Courtesy photo)
Cameras capture of images of the suspects who shot Waashington Commanders running back Brian Robinson Jr. during a carjacking in northeast D.C. (Courtesy photo)

The shooting and attempted carjacking of Washington Commanders running back Brian Robinson Jr. counts among the latest and most prominent incidences of violent crime to grip the D.C. metropolitan area this year. 

In the aftermath of the shooting, Robinson, 23, has been visited by Washington Commanders Owners Daniel and Tanya Snyder, President Jason Wright and General Manager Martin Mayhew among other team leaders. He has also received an outpouring of love and well wishes on social media from fans.  

The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) has since identified two suspects and recovered a firearm at the scene of what has been described as an aggravated assault. 

Though Robinson’s injuries appear not to be detrimental to his life and career, residents and local officials continue to demand a response to violent crime consuming the H Street corridor and other District neighborhoods.  

“The gun violence and dangerous driving are at a peak on H Street Northeast,” ANC Commissioner Keya Chatterjee said on Twitter shortly after Robinson was shot in her single-member district on August 28. 

“What is the plan D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser? Where is the oversight D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson?” she asked. 

On Sunday evening, as Robinson, a third-round draft pick, left an establishment on the 1000 block of H Street in Northeast, two juveniles attempted to steal his car, a white Dodge Charger. MPD, in collaboration with the Prince George’s County Police Department, later found what authorities believed to be a stolen vehicle that the suspects used to quickly leave the scene.  

According to reports, Robinson wrestled a gun away from one assailant but was shot by the other in the glute and lower leg. Paramedics treated him at the scene and transferred him to Medstar Washington Hospital Center in Northwest. In an Instagram post on Monday, Robinson celebrated a successful surgery. 

As of Monday, MPD reported 1,400 robberies and 2,272 motor vehicle thefts in the District this year. Those figures increased from the same time last year by 17 percent and 3 percent respectively. Meanwhile, homicides experienced a 4 percent uptick from around this time last year, while all frequency of crime reported to MPD have remained consistent.  

Last weekend, MPD reported shooting incidents along the H Street corridor during which a woman suffered a gunshot to the head near the corner of 7th Street and H Street in Northeast while another person had similar injuries four blocks away. 

On Monday, a would-be carjacker suffered a gunshot when his accomplice shot him in an attempt to take an Uber driver’s vehicle in Southeast. 

Prince George’s County Police Department has documented similar situations. Earlier this month, two dozen carjackings occurred within a week. A District man also pled guilty to federal charges for a series of violent carjackings in Prince George’s County and Montgomery County. 

During another incident, a Prince George’s County police officer pursued alleged carjackers into the District during a chase that ended in the sedan driven by the teens crashing into a Circulator bus in D.C.

When it comes to prevention, authorities advise drivers to park in well-lit areas and remain alert with keys in hand when walking to their car or stopping at an intersection and to drive in a center lane to make it harder for would-be carjackers. 

If confronted by a carjacker, they recommend giving a carjacker the car keys and remembering key details about their appearance. 

Robinson, a native of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, became a favorite among Washington Commanders fans and front office managers alike for his temperament and agility. In May, he signed a four-year rookie NFL contract after finding much success with the University of Alabama Crimson Tide football program. He had been expected to play a significant role in the Commanders’ offense this upcoming season. 

Earlier this week, Rivera took to Twitter with some good news after visiting Robinson at Medstar Washington Hospital Center. 

“[Brian] is in good spirits and wanted me to thank everyone for their kind words, prayers and support,” Rivera wrote “He wants his teammates to know that he appreciates and loves them all and will be back to doing what he loves best.”

Sam P.K. Collins

Sam P.K. Collins has more than a decade of experience as a journalist, columnist and organizer. Sam, a millennial and former editor of WI Bridge, covers education, police brutality, politics, and other...

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