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Man shot outside Union Station has died, D.C. police say

A man who was shot multiple times Wednesday night in front of Union Station has died, and the attack is being investigated as a homicide, according to D.C. police.

The shooting occurred about 9:50 p.m. in the unit block of Massachusetts Avenue NE. Police identified the victim as James Eric Ferrell, 34. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.

In a statement, police said Ferrell had no fixed address. But a police report indicated that he lived in an apartment in Edgewood, a neighborhood in Northeast Washington about two miles from the station.

Authorities hadn’t discussed a possible motive, although the police report indicated that the shooting followed an argument. The report said Ferrell was found on a sidewalk near First Street.

Police were looking for three assailants but had only scant clothing descriptions. No arrests had been made as of Thursday.

Shootings are unusual around Union Station, typically crowded with tourists and commuters throughout the day.

Police shut down several nearby streets Wednesday night and briefly delayed the departure of a MARC commuter train as officers searched for the assailants.

On an Internet bulletin board Wednesday night, Lt. Damion L. Taylor assured readers that “there is no current threat or safety concerns to the general public.”

Man shot near Union Station

That typically indicates that police believe the shooting was targeted.

Although violent crime is down 7 percent across the District, homicides are up this year. As of Thursday, 140 people have been killed in the District, compared with 96 at this time in 2017. That is a 46 percent increase.

With two months left in the year, the District already has surpassed the 116 homicides recorded in 2017 and the 135 homicides in 2016. There were 162 people killed in the District in 2015, a year in which deadly violence surged over the summer, sparked fear among residents and raised questions about police strategies.

Wednesday night’s shooting was the District’s fourth homicide in two days. Earlier Wednesday, police said a man was fatally shot in the unit block of Mississippi Avenue SE, just south of Congress Heights, about 3:20 p.m. Police identified the victim as Kevin Jackson, 29, of Southeast.

On Tuesday night, police said Taquan Smith, 25, was fatally shot in the 4800 block of Alabama Avenue SE. The 10:30 p.m. shooting left damage along a residential street. Police said in a report they recovered 79 shell casings. The report said police believe a rifle was used.

Residents say crime No. 1 problem in District in 2015

Authorities did not say whether there were multiple shooters or a gun battle, but the report showed four vehicles and two buildings were struck by bullets. Two heating and air-conditioning units also were hit.

The police report said the victim was found lying unconscious in a grassy lot. He died at a hospital, police said.

On Tuesday morning, police said Terrance Johnson, 25, of Southeast was fatally shot in a neighborhood of Lincoln Heights, in Northeast Washington. The shooting occurred about 11:10 a.m. at Fitch and 50th places NE.

Police were looking for a gold- or tan-colored sedan being driven on Ridge Road toward Southern Avenue.