The Washington Post

Suspect in shooting of four people in Northeast had argued with one victim

The shooting Wednesday that wounded four people in Northeast Washington left at least two of the victims with serious injuries, including a man identified as the likely target, according to court documents filed against the suspect.

Police on Thursday charged Victor Leon Coley, 51, of Northeast, with assault with intent to kill. He has a preliminary hearing scheduled for Tuesday in D.C. Superior Court.

Coley’s arrest affidavit states that a 41-year-old bystander was shot in the back of the head and chest during the incident and was too badly hurt to be interviewed. Another man — with whom Coley had been seen arguing, police said — was shot twice in the back, the court document says.

Coley was arrested shortly after the 1:15 p.m. shooting outside a Payless shoe store in the 3900 block of Minnesota Avenue NE. Police said witnesses saw him go into an apartment building around the corner from the shooting and emerge a few minutes later.

“That’s him, officer,” one person shouted, according to the police report.

The arrest affidavit provides more details of the mid-afternoon shooting on a busy commercial street.

One of the wounded men, a 61-year-old, told police he saw the suspect arguing with a 57-year-old man. The victim told the suspected gunman that he would “make sure you’ll never walk again,” according to the court document. The suspect then left and returned 15 minutes later with a gun, the affidavit says. The document says he shot at the man with whom he had argued, emptying the weapon of its bullets and striking him in the back.

Another witness told police that she had seen the suspect and the 57-year-old man arguing earlier in the day.

A 64-year-old woman was shot in the finger, police said. The 61-year-old man was struck in the right leg as he tried to run from the scene.

Police said in the affidavit that the 57-year-old man has told police he was unable to identify the shooter.

Authorities said they recovered six .22 caliber shell casings from the scene and two handguns, both .22 caliber, inside an apartment in a building behind the shoe store. The guns were behind a piece of white wood placed along a wall in the living room, according to the affidavit.

Peter Hermann covers crime for The Washington Post.

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