Over the weekend, Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich was shot to death in Washington, D.C. NBC Washington reported that 27-year-old Rich was walking home early Sunday in Northwest D.C. when he was shot at approximately 4:20 a.m. Police officers found Rich with multiple gunshot wounds, and he was conscious and breathing at the scene, but officials said that he died a little more than an hour later at a hospital.
A native of Omaha, Nebraska, Rich graduated from Creighton University. His LinkedIn page indicates that before working as voter expansion data director for the DNC, he worked on Democratic campaigns and for the U.S. Census Bureau. DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz issued a statement to ABC News on Monday to mourn Rich and to commend him for his work:
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. 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.
Schultz concluded by promising to keep Rich's family in her thoughts and prayers as she and the rest of the DNC carried on the work to which Rich was committed.
In a phone interview with NBC Washington, Rich's mother said police had told her family that her son may have been the victim of an attempted robbery. Mary Rich told NBC Washington that her son had been on the phone with his girlfriend when she heard noise on his end, but he told her not to worry about it.
"Worst nightmare," Mary Rich said. "There had been a struggle. His hands were bruised, his knees are bruised, his face is bruised, and yet he had two shots to his back, and yet they never took anything."
Acting Capt. Anthony Haythe of the Metropolitan Police Department’s homicide unit said in a news conference Monday morning that police have no witnesses, and that they are currently searching for surveillance video footage near the scene of the shooting.
Rich's father, 68-year-old Joel Rich, said in an interview with The Washington Post that his son's killing was "a waste." “He wanted to make a difference,” Joel Rich said. “Politics was in his blood.”
The Post reported that Rich "worked tirelessly on a project to help voters easily find their polling places," while also remaining lighthearted and donning a panda suit whenever he could. ABC News has reported that Rich's death marked D.C.'s 68th homicide of 2016, and that a reward of up to $25,000 is being offered to anyone with more information about the shooting.