D.C. police are searching for a blue Hyundai Santa Fe SUV after authorities said a woman was carjacked by five masked male assailants Sunday evening as she was unloading groceries from her vehicle in Chevy Chase.
The robbery, in which one of the men or teenagers had a gun, has unnerved residents in the upscale community in Northwest Washington, where such violent crime is rare.
The carjacking occurred about three hours before a 21-year-old man was found fatally shot in his Jaguar about two miles away in the neighboring Hawthorne community. Police say they have no reason to think the two attacks are related. Both occurred along the Western Avenue corridor that runs along D.C.’s border with Montgomery County in Maryland.
The carjacking occurred about 6:20 p.m. on Western Avenue, near Connecticut Avenue and the Chevy Chase traffic circle. A police report says the assailants pointed a small gun at the victim and demanded her car keys. The group then took the vehicle and drove east on Northampton Street.
Police described the Hyundai as blue, with District license plates EN1190.
The victim, who did not want her name published because her attackers are not yet under arrest, said she noticed the group lurking in an alley as she parked behind her house. She said they were wearing dark clothes and hooded sweatshirts. She initially thought they might be friends of a nearby resident.
The woman said she put her groceries on the ground and was closing a fidgety gate when, “suddenly, I heard footsteps on the gravel.” She said one of the young men, his face now concealed by a mask or black stocking, approached her and said, “Give me your car keys.”
“He got really up close to my face,” she added. “I said, ‘What’s happening, is this a joke?’ That’s when he brought out the gun and pointed it at my midsection. I thought, ‘Oh my God, you don’t need to do this.’ ” The woman said she thought the assailant was throwing his life away.
She said another man approached her and demanded her wallet and money. She handed over her car keys but showed them she didn’t have a wallet. The woman said the assailants left in her SUV but never demanded her phone; she dialed 911 as her car pulled out of the alley.
The woman said two violent crimes in the same day are unusual in her neighborhood. “I think it’s a bizarre coincidence,” she said of the shooting. “I think mine was a crime of opportunity. I think they were novices. It’s so sad, that’s how they’re starting out their lives.”
The fatal shooting occurred about 9:15 p.m. in the 6900 block of 32nd Street NW, in Hawthorne. The victim, Grant Copeland Dosunmu, lived with his parents two blocks away.
Police have not made any arrests or discussed a possible motive in the case.
Dosunmu’s father, Razak Dosunmu, said his son had left home Sunday evening but did not tell him where he was headed. His father said he did not believe his son had problems with friends or others.
The fatal shooting was the first of the year for Hawthorne, and for the police patrol area that includes much of Chevy Chase and Barnaby Woods. The area had no homicides in 2015, with six unarmed and four armed robberies.