D.C. Firefighter Shoots Woman, Her Parents, Then Kills Himself

By Aaron C. Davis and Elissa Silverman
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, February 5, 2009

A D.C. firefighter shot his former fiancee, also a D.C. firefighter, and her parents in their Prince George's County home yesterday and then killed himself, law enforcement sources said.

The woman, identified as Jessica Wimbish, was hospitalized in critical condition, as was her mother, officials said. Her father was seriously wounded.

The gunman, Dante Paire, was pronounced dead at the scene in the 6700 block of Hastings Drive, just east of Seat Pleasant. County police were dispatched there shortly after 4 p.m. in response to reports of gunfire, said Officer Larry Johnson, a police spokesman.

Paire shot Wimbish, 25, in the stomach and chest, somehow missing a 2-year-old girl who was sitting on her lap, the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing. One source said the girl is Wimbish's daughter; it was not clear who her father is.

Paire, believed to be in his 20s, then shot Wimbish's mother, Jennifer Wimbish, multiple times in the upper body as she and her husband fled, the source said. The husband was struck in the leg. His name could not be learned last night.

Police are investigating whether a man and a woman who argued earlier in the day at an Applebee's in Forestville were Paire and Jessica Wimbish. Employees called 911, saying the man left the restaurant in a Silver Lexus and providing a partial license plate number, sources said. A vehicle matching that description was found at the scene of the shooting.

In the parking lot outside the restaurant, the argument became physical. At one point, the man threw a cellphone on the ground, an employee said.

"He destroyed the phone, throwing it down, and then he slapped the girl," the employee said, speaking on condition of anonymity because his supervisors had not authorized him to speak about the incident.

Bystanders called 911, he said. The man lifted his shirt to flash a badge on his belt and cursed at the customers and employees. " 'Mind your own business,' " he said, according to the employee.

According to a D.C. fire department source, a notice was recently sent to District firehouses that Paire was not allowed on fire department property. The notice had a picture of Paire, who was last assigned to Engine 20 in Tenleytown. It was not clear why Paire was banned from department property.

Last night, D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services spokesman Alan Etter said he would not identify the victims and gunman until their names have been officially released.

"We've been advised that two of our employees have been involved in what I can only describe as a horrendous tragedy," Etter said. "We pledge to support the families in any way we can."

Staff writer Theola Labbé- DeBose and researcher Meg Smith contributed to this report.

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