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Robber Seeking Jacket Shoots Student in SE

Wounded Youth Was on Way to School

By Del Quentin Wilber
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, March 17, 2005; Page B01

A 15-year-old District youth was shot during an attempt to rob him of his North Face jacket yesterday morning as he walked to Eastern Senior High School in Southeast Washington, D.C. police said.

The 10th-grader, whose name was withheld because he is considered a witness, was hit in the thigh and shoulder and was hospitalized in stable condition with wounds that were not life-threatening, police said.

M. Fosso, a D.C. police crime scene technician, gathers evidence in the 1800 block of A Street SE, near Eastern Senior High School. (Nikki Kahn -- The Washington Post)

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Authorities said the incident began after the youth and two other students got off the Metro at the Stadium-Armory stop. The youths were walking in the 1800 block of A Street SE toward their school when a car approached and one of the two men inside the vehicle got out, police said.

The man pulled out a handgun, police said, and demanded the boy's jacket. The youth refused to turn over the jacket and started sprinting, police said. The gunman then fired about four shots at the youth, hitting him twice, police said.

The wounded teenager ran to the Metro station, where he flagged down a passerby for help, police said. He was taken to an undisclosed hospital for treatment.

Police said they had only general descriptions of the two men and had made no arrests as of last night. They described their car as a Chrysler or box-style Cadillac.

School officials said the school's principal sent a letter home to parents telling them what had happened and stressed that the shooting did not occur on school grounds.

During the last few years, police have reported scores of robberies and thefts involving North Face jackets, which cost about $200 but can be more expensive.

"We have had a whole boatload of those North Face jacket robberies," said Cmdr. Thomas McGuire of the 1st Police District. "They cost so much they can't afford them, so they steal them and sell them on the street. They are taking them left and right and in robberies."

D.C. Council member Sharon Ambrose (D-Ward 6), who represents the area, said, "It's grossly unfortunate that some child on his way to school would be accosted in this way. "It's terribly sad, over a jacket," she said. "That is just insane."

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