Teen Injured, Two Arrested In Shooting at Union Station

By Mary Otto and Martin Weil
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, March 4, 2007

An argument at Union Station spilled outdoors and erupted in gunfire yesterday evening, leaving a 17-year-old seriously wounded, D.C. police said. Two people were taken into custody.

After the shots were fired, an employee of a bookstore in the station reported a "commotion . . . just a large crowd running and screaming." Another witness to some of the events recounted "a little bit of a scene" at the station, which is a national landmark, as well as a popular dining, entertainment and transportation hub.

Sgt. Joe Gentile, a D.C. police spokesman, said a dispute broke out inside the station about 5:35 p.m. involving a group of youths on one side and a man and a woman on the other.

Soon afterward, just outside the station doors near First Street NE, the man drew a gun and opened fire. Witnesses heard three or four shots. A youth was hit.

A woman who works at a store in the station said she and about two dozen others saw rescuers place the victim on a stretcher.

"I could see him breathing," she said.

The shooting touched off a chase. Gentile said a 20-year-old man and a 21-year-old woman were arrested and charged with assault with intent to kill while armed. He said both gave the homeless shelter at 425 Second St. NW as their temporary address.

"It was pretty shocking," said Carlito Cruz, a waiter at the Station Grill, a restaurant in the station.

"It's incredibly unusual," said David VanBenschoten, a bartender at the Grill. "I've never heard of something like this."

© 2007 The Washington Post Company