Two people were shot and killed in separate incidents Monday afternoon near the center of the District’s Ward 7, an area where this year’s homicide toll has increased more than threefold from last year at this time.
In the first of Monday’s homicides, a man was slain about 1 p.m. in the 4800 block of Texas Avenue SE. Three hours later, a woman was fatally shot a few blocks away in the 100 block of 49th Street SE. Police said they think the two may be connected.
In response to the outbreak of violence, D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) and D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier went to the ward Monday night to speak and to respond to questions from the news media.
“We are horrified by what we saw today,” Bowser said, referring to the two Ward 7 homicides and three other shootings elsewhere.
She said that level of violence was not acceptable, and that all the city’s resources will be devoted to quelling it.
Also at the session, D.C. Council member Yvette M. Alexander (D-Ward 7) said, addressing Lanier, that it was necessary to “come up with a plan of action.”
“Our concerns have to be addressed,” she said.
Lanier said police had already increased deployments in parts of Ward 7 and were moving resources around rapidly Monday in response to events.
The two homicides, which were no more than five or six blocks apart, occurred near one of the busiest spots in Ward 7, which is almost entirely east of the Anacostia River and includes parts of Northeast and Southeast.
Both killings were near East Capitol Street, Benning Road and the Benning Road Metro station. At least two schools are nearby. One was placed on lockdown.
The Texas Avenue homicide occurred on a driveway between a Valero gas station and an apartment building. Police Cmdr. David Taylor, who heads the Sixth District station, which serves much of Ward 7, said shots were fired during an argument.
A man who said he saw part of the shooting and spoke on the condition of anonymity said he saw two men arguing, heard gunshots, then saw people run out of the alley. He said that he saw the victim on his knees, firing toward Benning Road, before he collapsed and that another man picked up that gun and ran.
The slain man was not identified. He was described only as young.
After the gunfire, tensions rose at the scene. Several people scuffled in a nearby parking lot.
A woman screamed: “That’s my baby! That’s my baby laying there!” Police set up a blue tarp around the covered body to shield it from view.
The woman killed on 49th Street was shot on the front lawn of a two-story duplex.
Monday’s killings were the 19th and 20th homicides in Ward 7 this year, up from six in the ward at this time in 2015. They were the second and third homicides since Friday.
Other incidents of gunfire were reported in the city Monday, but they were not described as fatal.
One of the other shootings Monday occurred in Northwest about 2:40 p.m. when a man was grazed by a bullet outside the Georgia Avenue-Petworth Metro station, police said. The victim ran into the station to get help, and trains briefly bypassed the station during the investigation.
About 3:30 p.m., two men were shot and wounded two blocks apart — in the 1400 block of 22nd Street SE and in the 2000 block of Fairlawn Avenue SE.
The shootings occurred a few blocks from the boundaries of Ward 7. Both victims are expected to survive, police said. A possible fourth nonfatal shooting was being investigated late Monday, according to police.
Justin Wm. Moyer contributed to this report.