Three young men were shot and wounded in a furious burst of gunfire just outside the grounds of a national historic site in Southeast Washington on an otherwise peaceful and pleasant Easter Sunday afternoon.
All three victims, who were in their mid-20s, were taken to hospitals with wounds that did not appear to be life-threatening, authorities said. At least one was in surgery Sunday night, D.C. police said.
No motive could be determined immediately for the attack, which occurred a short distance from Cedar Hill, the Anacostia home of Frederick Douglass, the celebrated abolitionist and orator. Police said they were looking for three people, described as in their late teens, in connection with the shootings.
Aside from the ages, descriptions were sparse. One of the attackers reportedly wore a red scarf, police said.
Police said the shootings occurred just before 5 p.m. at 14th and Cedar streets SE, about a block from 1411 W St. SE, the official address of the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site. The specific site of the shooting appeared to be just outside the iron fence that encloses the site, which includes at least two square city blocks of sloping lawn.
The site’s formal closing of 5 p.m. is close to the time of the attack, but there were no indications that the operations of the site were affected. Police talked to the rangers there, Lt. John Alter said, and it appeared that no one at the site saw the shootings.
Some people who live near the site of the shootings said they had heard the gunfire. One resident said that she had not counted the shots but that there were “a lot” of them.
During their investigation, police gathered more than 20 shell casings from the gunfire.
Two of the victims, apparently those less seriously wounded, arrived at the Engine 15 firehouse at 14th and V streets SE, about two blocks from the shooting scene.
They were quickly treated by firefighters and then taken to hospitals. The most seriously wounded of the three was taken to a hospital from the scene of the shooting, where he was found.
No clear information about a motive could be determined. Residents of the neighborhood said they thought the shooting might have been connected to disputes between residents of the area near the historic site and residents of other District neighborhoods.
However, police said they had no firm information indicating that such a dispute was involved.