A Southeast Washington man was shot in the leg yesterday at 14th and Swann streets NW by a D.C. Police detective when the man broke and ran while the officer was searching him for a possible concealed weapon.
A crowd of more than 100 residents and passersby quickly gathered and some heckled and threw bottles at police to protest the shooting. The crowd dispersed after about an hour.
Police said that Gerald Paige, 30, of 2717 Savannah Ter. SE, was shot once in the right thigh by 3rd District vice squad detective Larry Thomas, 31. Paige was admitted to D.C. General Hospital in guarded condition.
Thomas said he and four other detectives dressed in "mod squad" fashion received a report that Paige possessed an illegal handgun.
"We stopped (Paige) to talk with him and search him," said Thomas. "We searched him and two others. We let the two other men go, but we decided to search him again to look inside his waistband. Some guys hide revolvers inside their pants.
"When I reached for his waistband, he broke and ran," Thomas said. Thomas said he and two other officers chased Paige. After a few yards, Thomas said, Paige reached into his pants and pulled out a revolver, at which point Thomas said he fired. Another officer, Robert Thompson, said he also fired, but missed.
Thomas said the officers recovered a .25 caliber automatic revolver from Paige who was charged with assault on a police officer and concealment of a deadly weapon.
Boyd Payne, 30, of 1464 Harvard St. NW, was among several witnesses who said Paige did not have a gun and that police could have apprehended him without shooting.