Oct 3, 2023 - News

D.C. politico hotspot grapples with gun violence

Illustration of crime tape forming an upward arrow.

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

Police are investigating a Monday night shooting outside The Point seafood restaurant on the Southwest waterfront that left three people injured.

The big picture: The upscale restaurant, a popular power spot for D.C. politicos, is the latest local business to be caught in the crossfire of the city's rising crime wave.

State of play: Officers in the Buzzard Point area south of Audi Field heard shots outside The Point, where two parties exchanged gunfire at around 8:30pm, according to police.

  • Two men and a boy under 18 were wounded and transported to a local hospital. Police tell Axios that one arrest was made and that the investigation is ongoing.

Zoom in: The Point's owner Greg Casten tells Axios that three of the people involved in the shooting had been patrons at the restaurant, according to reports from his employees and video surveillance, and that they had just left the outdoor patio when the shooting happened.

  • Casten says the gunfire struck seven glass windows and a door, but employees and diners inside the restaurant were unharmed.
  • The Point has reopened for business as usual.

What they're saying: Police say the circumstances of the shooting are being investigated.

  • Casten, who's also behind Tony & Joe's on the Georgetown waterfront and Ivy City Smokehouse, says he's worried about how increasing crime in D.C. is impacting businesses — especially this incident at Buzzard Point, a burgeoning neighborhood that's difficult to navigate while it's heavily under construction.
  • "I hope we don't see a drop in business. It's hard to get down to us. The people who are willing to venture out and try something new will be like f--k that, I'm going to Georgetown," Casten tells Axios. "It's bad for the city and it's bad for the people because Buzzard Point is one of the best hidden gems in Washington."

Between the lines: Since opening two years ago, The Point has been likened to Cafe Milano for its hobnobbing political scene, with many regulars from Bowser's office (including the mayor herself) and the former first lady of D.C. Cora Masters Barry.

Zoom out: Local restaurants have been increasingly the site of crimes in D.C. over the past year, whether it's a rash of burglaries along H Street, Northeast, or valet and car robberies at Del Frisco's steakhouse and RPM Italian near downtown.

  • In the popular dining and nightlife district Adams Morgan, robberies soared 95% over last year.

The bottom line: "I think overall our place is safe," says Casten. "I hope the powers-that-be catch these guys and hold them accountable because they put innocent people in harm's way."


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