Five shot or stabbed in D.C., including 14-year-old girl struck by bullet fragments

October 19, 2013

Five people were either shot or stabbed — including a 14-year-old girl struck by bullet fragments — in a spasm of violence mostly centered in Northeast D.C. on Friday night and early Saturday morning.

None of the incidents was believed to be related to another, although as of Saturday afternoon, police had not made arrests in any of the cases, said Officer Araz Alali, a D.C. police spokesman. He said no one was killed, although one man was in critical condition with stab wounds to his head, back, neck and an arm.

The 14-year-old girl, Alali said, had injuries that did not require her to be taken to the hospital. He said that despite the sudden flare-up of violence, “there has been a real drop in crime, and anyone living in D.C. sees that.”

“That’s the bigger tell-tale sign,” he said.

The mayhem began about 9:15 p.m. Friday, when a fight broke out between two women near 18th Street NE and M Street NE, Alali said. He said one of the women pulled out a knife and stabbed the other in the arm and leg. The victim, he said, was taken to a hospital with injuries not believed to be life-threatening, and detectives were still searching for the alleged stabber.

The next three incidents occurred within minutes of one another in the early hours of Saturday. At 12:08 a.m., Alali said, a man was stabbed several times during an apparent fight in the 700 block of 4th Street NE. Alali said at least three people heard the fight and saw the victim fall to the ground as the stabber ran down 4th Street. The victim, he said, sustained critical injuries. Detectives are still searching for the stabber, he said.

The next incident occurred about 12:25 a.m., when a man was shot in the leg in the 5000 block of Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue NE. Alali said he did not know the man’s condition, and police were still looking for the shooter.

About 10 minutes later, Alali said, another man was stabbed in the face near Harvard Street NW and Sherman Avenue NW. The man, whose injuries are not believed to be life-threatening, told detectives a woman approached him and “engaged him in a verbal altercation without any provocation” before she pulled out a knife and stabbed him. Alali said the woman was apparently a stranger, although detectives were still investigating the incident.

And at 2:12 a.m., Alali said, a 14-year-old girl who was outside in the 500 block of Kenilworth Avenue NE was hit by bullet fragments. Alali said the girl told officers she heard the sound of gunshots then realized she had been hit, although medical personnel determined that she had been struck only by fragments and treated her at the scene. He said police do not yet know what sparked the shooting.

Matt Zapotosky covers the federal district courthouse in Alexandria, where he tries to break news from a windowless office in which he is not allowed to bring his cell phone.
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