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District shooting kills three, wounds at least six others

Police sources said they were looking into whether Tuesday night's shootings might have been linked to two others this month in the southern part of the District. In one, Jordan Howe, 20, was found fatally shot on Alabama Avenue SE. In the other, a man was wounded on Chesapeake Street SE.

At least one person interviewed Tuesday night said that some of those wounded on South Capitol Street had recently attended ceremonies honoring Howe, the Alabama Avenue victim.

The gunfire, several blocks from the Prince George's County border, touched off a chase into that county and back into the District.

The shootings in the Washington Highlands area came after a year in which the city, once known as the nation's murder capital, logged 143 homicides, the lowest total since 1966.

The trend has continued. As of Monday afternoon, D.C. police had reported 20 homicides this year, compared with 31 in the same period last year.

The number of people shot Tuesday night may have been the most in the District in one incident since 1994, when 10 people were wounded, one fatally, at a market on O Street NW.

In an eruption of gunfire in Northeast Washington last year, two people were killed and three others wounded.

The site of the shootings is east of Bolling Air Force Base and near the Blue Plains sewage treatment plant. It is about a mile north of the boundary between the District and Prince George's. One side of South Capitol Street near the scene of the shooting is lined with two-story red brick apartment houses; several stores are on the other side.

When the first rescue workers reached the site Tuesday night, they found a "very chaotic situation," said Pete Piringer, a spokesman for the D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department.

At Prince George's Hospital Center, victims' friends and relatives hugged each other and cried.

Immediately after the shooting, police flooded the scene and investigators tried to interview witnesses.

"We're still trying to sort out conditions," Lanier said. "It's going to take a while to sort out what was behind this."

After the shooting, as officers pursued a van into Prince George's, two police cars crashed on St. Barnabas Road. The four D.C. officers inside suffered minor injuries, authorities said.

A helicopter that circled overhead apparently aided in the chase, which ended in the Condon Terrace area of Southeast Washington, where the three people were taken into custody.

Staff writers Lori Aratani and Hamil R. Harris and researcher Meg Smith contributed to this report.

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