A Stray Bullet Strikes a Man in His Home

By Clarence Williams and Martin Weil
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, December 5, 2007

In some parts of Washington, shots are heard on the streets, but people still feel safe in their homes. Last night, however, a shot fired on a Northeast Washington street crashed into a house and hit a man inside, police said.

According to Cmdr. Robert Contee of the 6th Police District, the shot smashed through a second-floor window in the 5300 block of Clay Terrace. Contee called the man inside an "unintended victim."

The man, whose name was not released, was struck in the back and taken to a hospital. Police said he remained conscious, and they said they thought he would survive.

Shortly after the 7 p.m. incident, police said they found an automobile less than a mile away, at 46th and Lee Streets NE, that appeared to fit descriptions given by witnesses. They said they found two guns inside, and they took a man in his 20s into custody.

Two neighbors said they heard several shots but did not know what happened.

"I stay in my apartment and mind my business," said one.

Since 1999, five people have been found fatally shot on Clay Terrace, a one-block street near the eastern corner of the city.

The shooting yesterday came at a time when the number of assaults involving firearms has increased over the previous year, according to recently released police statistics.

Several people have been hit by what were believed to be stray bullets fired in the streets. In 2004, an 8-year-old girl was killed indoors by a bullet fired on a Northeast street.

© 2007 The Washington Post Company