Apr 26, 2022 - News

Full picture of Van Ness sniper damage slowly emerges

Police Chief Robert Contee stands before a table of six guns, in police bags, recovered from a suspected sniper

Police Chief Robert Contee shows six guns recovered from the apartment of Van Ness sniper suspect. Photo: Cuneyt Dil/Axios

Investigators are still assessing the damage from the 200 bullets fired Friday by the Van Ness sniper, while two shooting victims are still in critical condition.

The latest: Four long guns and two handguns found in the shooter’s apartment were displayed at a Monday press conference.

  • Over 800 unused rounds were also found in the apartment, in addition to three more guns and thousands of rounds of ammo discovered at a Fairfax apartment. 

What they’re saying: D.C. police chief Robert Contee said that surveillance footage shows the suspect entering the AVA Van Ness apartment building with a suitcase around midnight the day before the Friday shooting that injured four. 

  • A 54-year-old retired city police officer who worked at Edmund Burke school remains in the hospital, as does a woman who was struck with a bullet while in a vehicle. 
  • “They are not out of the woods by any stretch of the imagination,” Contee said. 

Details: As police closed in on the shooter’s fifth-floor unit, Contee said he killed himself inside his bathroom, which he had turned into a “command center,” with a laptop, phone, and firearm. Police believe the shooter installed a security camera outside of his unit to monitor approaching officers.

  • The shooter had moved into a Fairfax apartment in Feb. 2021, then rented the Van Ness unit this January, Contee said. 
  • Conte added that police have not yet been able to determine a motive. 

But a fuller picture of the damage from the attack is beginning to emerge. Contee said bullets from the shooter's rifle could go “thousands of yards.”

  • Two vehicles — including one belonging to a nearby embassy — were hit, in addition to two properties beyond Burke. 
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