Two Shot Inside Adams Morgan Restaurant, One Dies

By Elissa Silverman and Martin Weil
Washington Post Staff Writers
Monday, September 29, 2008

Two people were shot, one of them fatally, inside a popular Adams Morgan restaurant late last night. A few hours earlier, two other men were shot and seriously wounded not far away in a separate incident in a part of Northwest where gunfire also seemed unexpected.

The second of the two incidents occurred about 11 p.m. after what police said was an argument inside Meskerem Ethiopian Restaurant, in the 2400 block of 18th Street NW. The block that is at the heart of one of the city's major dining and entertainment areas.

In that incident, according to initial police accounts, one of the two men shot the other, and then turned the gun on himself.

An employee of the restaurant said she heard a man with what appeared to be a small silver-colored handgun say "everybody don't worry" after the initial shots.

"I was scared maybe he would kill me," the employee said.

The man with the gun was pronounced dead at 11:38 p.m. at Washington Hospital Center, authorities said.

The man he shot was also taken to the hospital center. Details of his condition were not available early today, but authorities said he was still breathing.

The subject of the argument could not be learned immediately.

When ambulances and other emergency vehicles arrived on 18th Street late last night, among those who tried to find out what was happening was the manager of another restaurant.

Suleyman Gunes of the Left Bank said he saw people who apparently had been inside Meskerem standing silently outside. They "looked shocked" and sad, he said.

Elissa Bernal, of Silver Spring, who was visiting Adams Morgan with a friend said, "I don't think I'm coming here again."

Earlier yesterday, two men were shot and severely wounded near 14th and T streets NW, in a gentrifying section of the city where such incidents have long been rare.

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