The man who was shot Friday afternoon inside a barbershop near Southeast Washington’s Barracks Row was struck by bullets in both legs, and his 2-year-old son suffered a graze wound, D.C. police said Saturday in an update of the victims’ conditions. Authorities said both have been released from area hospitals.
Meanwhile, a barber who was in the shop when police said at least one of three masked men stood in the doorway and opened fire in Wrenn’s on Eighth Street SE said it appeared the man was targeted as he waited for his haircut, cradling the sleeping child on his left shoulder.
“It was crazy,” the barber said, recounting how patrons who filled all four chairs and others waiting their turn dived to the floor at the sound of gunshots. The barber said the intruders didn’t say a word, and police said they escaped in a white SUV that had no license plates.
The barber, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because police have not made any arrests, said that as soon as the gunfire started, the man fell to the floor holding his child under him, protecting him. “That guy was targeted,” the barber said. “They were aiming just at him. They wanted him.” But the barber praised him for shrouding his child: “For that, he was father of the year.”
D.C. police said detectives are investigating and no motive has been revealed. Police have confirmed that one person inside the shop was targeted. “We are working through the events that led up to this shooting in our community but I can reassure you all that this was not a random act of violence,” D.C. Police Capt. Mark Beach of the 1st District station wrote on the department’s Internet bulletin board.
The shooting occurred about 1:40 p.m. on a short stretch of Eighth Street between L and M streets, a block from the Washington Navy Yard. The barbershop is just south of an area bustling with shops and restaurants, situated near a charter high school, a grocery store and a busy construction site. Police posted a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction.
The barber said the shop was packed at the time of the shooting, and that the victim had been waiting an hour. Wrenn’s is temporarily being run jointly with Brice’s barbershop, which is down the street and undergoing renovation. Signs with both names are out front.
“The shooting could happen anywhere,” the barber said. “But I tell you, how could people say they didn’t see anything? It was the afternoon. People were in the stores. There were construction workers everywhere.”
On Saturday, inside a cluttered corner of the shop, the barber piled the child’s belongings left behind in the chaos: a book bag adorned with action figures, boxes of cinnamon crackers and the green socks and shoes he had been wearing. The chair where the wounded man and his son had been sitting remained where it was on Friday. There is a fresh bullet hole in the back.