At least four people, including a 12-year-old girl, were shot when a gunman fired more than 100 rounds of bullets in the nation’s capital on Friday, prompting the closure of several schools and leaving the community on edge before that the suspect was found dead. hours later.
The suspected gunman was found dead Friday night inside an apartment at the location as Metropolitan Police Department officers conducted door-to-door searches of buildings in the area.
Metropolitan Police Department Chief Robert Contee holds a news conference to announce that the suspect in the shooting of four people in the Van Ness neighborhood has been found dead.
Police believe the man had erected a “sniper-type setup” with a tripod and rifle in his apartment and began shooting indiscriminately at people walking below, Metropolitan Police Chief Robert Contee said.
The four victims – a 54-year-old man who is a retired police officer, a woman in her 30s, a woman in her 60s who was grazed by a bullet and a 12-year-old girl who was shot in the arm – were expected to everyone will recover, police said. For hours, authorities warned concerned residents to stay indoors as they conducted a massive search for the shooter.
A woman who was grazed by a bullet in the Van Ness shooting spoke to News4’s Aimee Cho about the incident.
DC shooting suspect Raymond Spencer found dead
Police identified Raymond Spencer, 23, of Fairfax, Virginia, as a person of interest around 7:30 p.m.
Sources close to the investigation say he was found dead in a bathroom at the AVA Van Ness apartment building on Van Ness Street. Police Chief Robert Contee did not identify the suspect but said they are no longer looking for a person of interest. Police do not believe there are any other suspects.
The man had been “linked to social media posts” that surfaced as part of the investigation, Deputy Police Chief Stuart Emerman said.
‘Sniper-like setup’ found in DC apartment
Police recovered six firearms, including long pistols, and several rounds of ammunition from the apartment.
“This was a sniper-type setup with a tripod, and this person obviously intended to kill and injure members of our community,” Contee said.
Contee said police are investigating where the weapons came from, but said preliminary information indicates they were obtained legally.
“We know that over 100 rounds were fired from a long gun, and there are probably going to be a lot of bullet holes that we find,” Contee said Saturday.
Van Ness filming timeline
Gunfire erupted shortly before 3:30 p.m. near the corner of Connecticut Avenue and Van Ness St. in the Van Ness neighborhood of Washington, just as parents were picking up their children from Edmund Burke School, a private college preparatory school. .
“It looks like this person was just shooting at whoever was there randomly,” Contee said hours later.
Initial calls reported an active shooter. The incident was centered around the 2900 block of Van Ness Street NW, police said, although they initially gave the location as the 4100 block of Connecticut Avenue NW, which is just around the corner.
The resounding bursts of rapid fire rattled the normally quiet neighborhood that is home to several schools and universities and dozens of embassies. He sent desperate parents fleeing the scene and put Burke, the University of the District of Columbia and other nearby schools on immediate lockdown.
A message sent from the Alert DC system warned people of an “active threat” and “shelter in place if nearby.”
Contee later said that MPD officers were able to determine the shooting came from the fifth floor by collaborating with members of the community.
Officers in tactical gear could be seen running in the area; others drew their weapons as they evacuated residents of the AVA apartment building.
Deputy Police Chief Stuart Emerman said in a public update around 5:30 p.m. that no suspects were in custody, although people fleeing the scene had been interviewed.
Around 7:30 p.m., police announced that they were looking for Spencer as a person of interest.
Around the same time, Mayor Muriel Bowser said officials had begun reuniting Burke students with their parents. There was a family reunification site at the Cleveland Park Library at 3310 Connecticut Avenue NW.
Approximately six hours after the first shots were heard in Van Ness, police announced that the suspect was dead.
“We believe the suspect took his own life when MPD officers entered or broke into the apartment where the suspect was located,” Contee said.
It was not immediately clear what time the officers approached the apartment.
The University of the District of Columbia issued a go-ahead and lifted a shelter-in-place order at 9:13 p.m., and a short time later, Contee said nearly all of the Burke students had been reunited with their families.
Students were locked up for hours after a shooting in the Van Ness area of Northwest DC News4’s Darcy Spencer reports on families reuniting.
‘It could have been much worse’: the aftermath of the shooting
On the hot Saturday that followed the shooting, there was a steady stream of foot traffic in the area, with many residents stopping to look where gunshots hit various businesses.
Evidence technicians returned to the scene in front of the Edmund Burke School, collecting keys and clothing belonging to one of the injured victims.
Other investigators were still inside the fifth-floor unit in the nearby apartment building where the shooter was found dead, and where police found the long guns he used in the attack that terrorized the neighborhood for hours.
Some of those bullets flew half a mile down Connecticut Avenue, through a window into an eyeglass store, the bullet still visible in the carpet. A few doors down, another pane of glass shattered at Byblos Deli, where the manager was sitting at a table when he was startled by a loud noise.
“It looked like a lightbulb had broken or someone had thrown a rock at the window,” he said.
Police say the suspect in a northwest DC shooting was found dead in an apartment in the area. Reports Jackie Bensen of News4.
When the police cars started racing down the street, he realized it was something much worse.
Inside the AVA apartment building, a young man holed up in his bathroom away from the glass, anxiety building as he watched live news on his phone. He asked News4 not to show his face.
“And when I see them strongly surrounding my building, SWAT-looking cars literally park in front of the driveway that I walk by every day, that’s when I think, ‘Oh, he’s here,'” she said.
It was not until after 6 p.m. that the police evacuating the building arrived at his apartment. The witness recorded a video while his group paraded down the street.
“The walk from my building to Connecticut Avenue was the longest minute of my life because I thought, obviously they haven’t caught this guy yet,” he said.
The apartment resident said he was thankful the shooting aimed at a school did not come at a higher cost.
“I definitely find peace, in fact it could have been a lot worse and it wasn’t,” he said.