Teen Wounded in Shooting Was Targeted Earlier

By Paul Duggan
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, May 21, 2009

A teenager who was seriously wounded in a daylight shooting Tuesday on North Capitol Street NE was targeted about 2 1/2 months ago when someone fired more than 40 rounds into the nearby house he shared with his mother, police said yesterday.

The 18-year-old victim was shot in the head and was in grave condition last night. Two other young men and a 17-year-old girl also were shot on the street but are expected to recover, police said.

A day after the attack, D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) and Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier went to the scene of the shooting, at North Capitol and R streets, to say that police are investigating the case and that three suspects are in custody. Lanier said the shooting appears gang-related and could be tied to the earlier violence directed at the 18-year-old.

Neither the teenager nor his mother was injured when the shots were fired into the back of their house, Lanier said.

"We are aware of the history," she said. "We have been working with various different people to try to get him to turn himself in for his own safety, and those efforts failed."

The suspects were caught in a minivan that police chased from the scene. The pursuit ended with a crash in Prince George's County that injured four officers. Police said the suspects, who have yet to be charged in the shooting, range in age from 22 to 26 and that two have lengthy criminal records.

Fenty said he hopes the quick apprehensions will prevent the trouble from escalating.

"We don't know what the motive was behind this yet," he said. "But in too many instances of urban violence, when there's a shooting like this . . . what often happens is somebody comes right back and there's retaliation."

The area where the shooting took place has been a hub for gang and drug activity in recent years and has received increased police attention, officials said. In April 2008, three people were shot, two fatally, on consecutive afternoons there.

Police officials said violent crime is running about 3 percent below last year's totals. As of yesterday, the city had recorded 47 homicides this year, down from 62 in the same period last year. The number of assaults involving guns also is down, police said.

Staff writer Clarence Williams contributed to this report.

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