Nebraskan shot and killed in Washington, D.C.
Posted By: Channel 8 Eyewitness News
Courtesy: ABC News
A Democratic National Committee employee was shot dead over the weekend about a block from his home, officials said today.
Seth Rich worked as the voter expansion data director at the DNC for more than two years. The attack occurred Sunday at about 4:20 a.m. on a residential street in the Bloomingdale neighborhood in northwestern Washington, D.C. His death was the District of Columbia’s 68th homicide of 2016.
He was shot several times and was struck at least once in the back, acting Capt. Anthony Haythe of the Metropolitan Police Department’s homicide unit said Monday morning at a news conference.
Police said they heard gunshots while patrolling the area. Rich, who was 27 years old, was found conscious and breathing at the scene. But a little more than an hour later, he succumbed to his injuries at an area hospital, according to officials.
“Our hearts are broken with the loss of one of our DNC family members over the weekend. Seth Rich was a dedicated, selfless public servant who worked tirelessly to protect the most sacred right we share as Americans — the right to vote,” DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said in a statement.
She continued, “He saw the great potential of our nation and believed that, together, we can make the world a better place. He was a joy to have as a member of our team, and his talents, intelligence and enthusiasm will be deeply missed by the many friends, colleagues and co-workers who worked by his side in service to the highest ideals of our democracy.”
Bloomingdale is no stranger to violence. So far this year, there have been 20 reported robberies in the neighborhood. While police said there is no indication that robbery was a motive, it’s being considered.
According to his LinkedIn page, Rich graduated in 2011 from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska.
“We send our deepest heartfelt sympathies to Seth’s family, and we will keep them in our thoughts and prayers as we try to pick up the pieces and carry on the work that was so important to Seth and to us,” Wasserman Schultz said.
Police have no witnesses and are searching the area for surveillance video footage, Haythe said. So far, no arrests have been made, and police are reaching out to the public for more information. A reward of up to $25,000 is being offered.
His parents say Rich was on the phone with his girlfriend just before the shooting.
"Asked him if he was home yet and he said just about, and then she heard some noise, he said he had to call her back-I don’t know when that conversation ended but at 4:18 two shots were fired," Joel Rich, Seth’s Father, said.
Police say they have no motive, but they believe it may have been a botched robbery.
"If it was a robbery-it failed because he still has his watch, he still has his money-he still has his credit cards, still had his phone so it was a wasted effort except we lost a life," Joel Rich said.
His mother says his life was full of opportunities, and they’ll miss his ambition.
"I’ve just got to remember all of the good and the positive and that’s what we will make Seth’s life of value versus wasting it," Mary Rich, Seth’s Mother, said.
U.S. Senator Ben Sasse issued the following statement regarding the death of Seth Rich, a Nebraskan who worked for the Democratic National Committee in Washington, D.C.
“This is heartbreaking news. Melissa and I mourn the loss of a young Nebraskan who came to Washington to make a difference for his community and country as he saw best. Our prayers are with Seth’s family. His heart for service is an example for all Nebraskans, regardless of party, at a time when too many Americans are disengaged with some of the most important debates.”