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Posted at 01:21 PM ET, 11/01/2011

Across the District, shots rang out overnight

Just before 11 p.m. Monday, Franklin Ramirez waited for a friend at a table in the Georgetown restaurant he manages.

Tuesday morning, workers were scrubbing the sidewalk outside Don Lobo’s Mexican Grill — the site of a shooting in which a 17-year-old was rushed to an area hospital in Halloween evening during which gunshots rang out across the city.

“I’ve seen things like this in movies, but never in real life,” said Ramirez, who said he heard three gunshots from the bathroom and then emerged to see people standing over a young man bleeding on the ground.

At least six people were shot — all were alive as of Tuesday afternoon — in the District Monday night and early Tuesday morning, according to police. D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier and Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) held a joint press conference on violence in the city at the John A. Wilson Building downtown.

Gray, who referenced a “troubling number of shootings,”said officials were investigating the crimes and said he concerned with the number of youths who have been hurt recently. Lanier said the city historically sees a spike in violence each October.


A DC Fire/EMS worker hoses down the sidewalk in Georgetown, site of an Oct. 31 shooting. (Theola Labbé-DeBose - TWP)
“In the 21 years that I’ve been [in the District] October is always one of our more challenging months,” said Lanier, who attributed it in part to the arrival of colder weather, which makes it easier for people to conceal weapons in jackets and baggy clothing.

Police reported 13 homcides in October. There were 14 in October 2010. There have been 95 homicides in the District this year, according to police.

Lanier said that although Tuesday night’s shootings took place on Halloween, the violence was not necessarily linked to the holiday. She described five incidents with six victims at the press conference:

• Around 8:15 p.m,. a 16-year old male was walking along Florida Ave. NE near Staples St. NE when he was shot. Lanier said the victim described seeing a person wearing a ski mask and a vehicle speeding away. He suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

Police are looking for a green SUV, possibly a Cherokee, Lanier said. This shooting happened in the fifth police district in the Trinidad neighborhood.

• About an hour later, at the intersection of Georgia Ave. and Decatur St. in upper Northwest, a 16-year-old male and 19-year-old male were shot in their legs. Police don’t have any possible suspect information. This shooting happened in the fourth police district

• About an hour after those two were shot, there was another shooting about a block away in the 800 block of Crittenden St NW. An 18-year-old woman was shot in the leg.

Lanier said police are investigating whether that shooting and the earlier incident nearby were connected since they were in close proximity to each other.

• Around 10:50 p.m. a 17-year-old male was critically injured after being shot in the 2800 block of M St. NW in Georgetown. Lanier said the victim was a District resident and that he remains in the hospital in critical condition.

Lanier said there were extra patrols in the area because of Halloween and shortly after that shooting, officers chased a 24-year-old suspect down and arrested him near the scene of the shooting. He was charged with carrying a pistol without a license.

Lanier would not comment on whether that suspect was the Georgetown shooter. “Obviously we still have a lot of work to do,” she said.

• Finally in the 4200 block of Barnaby Road SE, Lanier said a 44-year-old man reported hearing gunshots, didn’t see anything, and when he started to run he was struck in the leg. That incident took place around 1:35 a.m. on Tuesday, police said.

Lanier said that in at least three of the incidents police believe that the victims and suspects knew each other. She did not specify which incidents she meant.

Lanier said the department has seen an increase of the number of guns recovered around the city.

“Last night — all these shootings that occurred are a symptom of the bigger problem,” Lanier said.

The department’s gun recovery unit is targeting areas around the city where there has been what Lanier described as an “uptick” in the number of guns found and reports of shots fired, according to the chief. Lanier said she expects more intelligence to come out of those efforts as police investigate the recent violence.

“Over the next few days we’re hoping to bring some more people in,” Lanier said.

Rufus Boyd, who lives in a Petworth area row house, said the shootings marred an otherwise pleasant evening in his neighborhood.

“There were some little kids running back and forth, with their parents, you know, trick-or-treating. It was a nice-looking setting,” he said. “But there was some crazy misfortune.”

Lanier said she rode around the city Halloween night and there were extra officers deployed in Georgetown, the U St. NW corridor, Adams Morgan and Chinatown but the crowds were smaller than police expected.

Lanier said the crowd in Georgetown, known for its large celebration, were smaller than expected.

“If you look at the Georgetown incident, everyone’s instinct is to say that this was because of the Georgetown celebration,” said Lanier. “I don’t know if we can make that connection. We don’t know all the particular details of that shooting yet to know what was behind it.”

Bryan Davis, sales manager at the Sterling & Burke leather good store across the street from Don Lobo’s, said he was shocked by the violence.

Across the street at the leather good specialty store Sterling & Burke Ltd, sales manager Bryan Davis was shocked to hear about the gun violence.

“I think of this as a very safe area,” said Davis. “Wow.”

This item has been updated.

By Theola Labbé-DeBose  |  01:21 PM ET, 11/01/2011

Categories:  The District, Theola Labbé-DeBose

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