An 8-year-old boy who was apparently caught in the crossfire of two men shooting at each other in Northeast Washington remained in critical condition Saturday, D.C. police said.
The shooting happened Friday night in the 3700 block of Hayes St. NE before 9 p.m., said Cmdr. Robert Contee, who heads the 6th District station. Two men, described as in their 20s, were taken to a hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening after police found them at the Mayfair Mansions apartment complex.
Police said they did not know what prompted the gunfire but think the child was an unintended victim. He also did not appear to be associated with either of the men, police said.
Two law enforcement sources said police found one man wounded in a parking lot and the other after he ran inside an apartment building. Police recovered at least one gun at the scene and searched for another early Saturday, the sources said.
No arrests have been made. D.C. police spokesman Hugh Carew confirmed that the boy was taken to a hospital in a police vehicle. “Because of the condition of the child and the proximity to the hospital, they decided to transport him,” he said.
A woman who has lived at Mayfair Mansions for 10 years said she heard several rounds of gunfire shortly after she returned home.
“Groups of men stay in that parking lot all night long,” said the woman, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “They’ve broken the security gate, and it hasn’t been fixed in a year. You have people coming in from outside the community all the time.”
Built in 1946, Mayfair Mansions was one of the city’s earliest garden apartment complexes and one of the first designed for middle-class African American families. It was given historic landmark status by the District in 1989, but was also ravaged by drug dealing and crime during that same period.
A woman at the property management office declined to discuss the shooting.
On Saturday, a pair of plastic gloves lying in the street and remnants of police tape fluttering in the autumn wind were the only things that remained in the empty parking lot.
But several residents described the shooting’s aftermath. Two bystanders said the boy was responsive but shaken and confused when he was taken to the hospital by police.
A 17-year-old girl who lives in the complex said she often saw the boy, whom police have not identified, playing with friends.
“He was always on the playground, always with his friends.
“He’s really friendly,” the teen said. “He likes to give hugs.”