A man was and shot and wounded Friday afternoon on a parking lot of the East River Park Shopping Center and near a public library in Northeast Washington, according to D.C. police.
The gunfire came hours after a security guard at the library — Dorothy Height Benning — was robbed of his gun in the parking lot shortly after the building had closed Thursday night. Authorities said they do not believe the incidents are related.
Police were searching for two men in the 1:10 p.m. shooting who sped away in a dark green Dodge Charger with tinted windows. The victim suffered minor injuries. The library was open at the time; it is one of the sites used for early voting, which began at many locations in the District on Friday.
George Williams, a spokesman for the D.C. library system, said the shooting occurred on a lot used by the shopping center, not in the adjacent lot used for the library, which fronts the 3900 block of Benning Road NE. He said the library and early voting continued uninterrupted through the police investigation outside. The shooting occurred near 40th and Dix streets.
Former mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) and the presumptive council member for Ward 7, said in a statement that the shooting occurred in the library's parking lot, and he called for better police protection at voting stations.
A D.C. police spokesman said officers are not permanently assigned to early voting sites but do increase patrols in the area.
Police said the library guard was robbed about 9:15 p.m. Thursday as he walked to his car. A police report says he was approached from behind by a man holding a dark metal object to his head. “This is a gun,” the victim told police, according to the offense report. “This is a revolution. I want your gun! Get on the ground.”
Police said the man jumped a concrete barrier and ran eastward. Police found the radio nearby, but not the 9mm Glock handgun.