A man shot in the head at the Washington Monument Grounds during an exchange of gunfire with U.S. Park Police died at George Washington University Hospital early yesterday.
The man, shot at about 10 p.m. Thursday by two officers investigating a complaint that a man was selling drugs to school children, tentatively was identified by a D.C. police spokesman as Kenneth Vines, 19, of Baltimore. He died at 3:34 a.m.
Both Park Police officers were injured in the incident. Detective Thomas P. Moyer, 36, suffered a bullet wound in the left elbow. He was discharged from the Washington Hospital Center yesterday morning after treatment there Thursday night. Officer Renee Jeter, 28, suffered a minor knee injury not caused by a bullet.
Police said that the officers had gone to the 15th Street side of the Monument Grounds Thursday night to investigate a report that a man was trying to sell drugs to school children from Dillon, S.C., who were on a bus.
According to police, the officers approached an automobile in which a man was seated and began a conversation. The man fired one or more shots from inside the car and both officers returned his fire, police said in a statement.
The suspect was hit while he was in the car, police said. In addition to being wounded in the head, he was wounded in the arm. Witnesses said later that there was at least one bullet hole in the door of the car and the rear window was shattered.
A police spokesman said that an undetermined amount of an unidentified brown-colored substance later was taken from the automobile.
A group of visiting students from Roanoke ran to take cover at a concession stand when the shooting began. Several hundred people waiting in line about a hundred yards away for their turn to ride the elevator to the top of the monument, which is open until midnight during the tourist season, heard the shots.