Apr 25, 2022 - News

Washington recovers after violent weekend

Lots of police agencies respond to Van Ness shooting.
Multiple law enforcement agencies — local and federal — responding in Van Ness on Friday afternoon. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Many in the District spent the weekend processing the sniper-style attack that put the Van Ness neighborhood — including several schools — into lockdown for hours on Friday while police hunted for the shooter and agonized families waited to be reunited with their children.

The big picture: Including the Van Ness shooting, 16 people were victims of gun violence this weekend in the District, the Metropolitan Police Department told Axios.

  • Public safety is top of mind for many Washingtonians right now, and recent gun violence has residents anxious ahead of the summer when crime historically increases.
DC police escorting residents evacuated from buildings in Van Ness area.
D.C. police escorting residents evacuated from buildings in the area. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

What we know: Over 100 rounds of ammunition were fired during the Van Ness shooting, MPD chief Robert Contee said. But miraculously, no one was killed. The four victims were expected to recover.

  • They include a 12-year-old girl who was shot in the arm; a 54-year-old retired city police officer, a woman in her 60s who was grazed by a bullet while waiting to pick up a student from the Edmund Burke School, and a woman in her 30s.

Police found the suspected gunman, 23-year-old Raymond Spencer, dead in a fifth-floor apartment near Burke, a private school on Connecticut Avenue.

  • Contee said multiple long guns and handguns, multiple rounds of ammunition, and a tripod were found in Spencer's apartment.
A man walks with a girl and dog past police officers responding to the Van Ness shooting.
A man walks with a girl and a dog past police officers responding to the Van Ness shooting. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

What’s next: There are still critical questions to answer about the shooting, including the gunman’s motive, whether he had any connection to the school, and what brought him to the apartment building where he was found dead.

  • The Burke school is closed today.
  • A Van Ness community meeting with police and other city officials is scheduled for tonight at 6:30.
A woman receiving care from paramedics.
A woman receiving care from paramedics. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Between the lines: While the Van Ness shooting gripped the city, the swarm of public leaders and news cameras speeding to that neighborhood led some observers to point out that persistent gun violence in other neighborhoods commands less attention and resources.

  • In Brightwood Park on Friday, hours after the Van Ness attack, two men and a woman were shot at 7th and Kennedy streets NW.
  • In Petworth early Saturday, police responded to the scene of a woman shot; officers then shot and killed another woman nearby who was armed, police said.
  • MPD did not respond to follow-up questions about the weekend’s other victims.
Police snipers on the roof of a building at the Van Ness shooting scene.
Police snipers on the roof of a building at the scene. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

 

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