Suspect found dead after shooting 4, causing panic in DC


Crime

The suspected shooter was found dead on Friday evening in an apartment at the scene as the Metropolitan Police Department.

Police evacuate people, including Sarah Cope running with her dog, near the scene of a shooting Friday, April 22, 2022, in northwest Washington. At least four people were shot when a gunman unleashed a flurry of bullets in the nation’s capital. The hail of gunfire led to closures at several schools and left a community on edge before the suspect was found dead hours later. AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

WASHINGTON (AP) — At least four people, including a 12-year-old girl, were shot when a gunman unleashed a flurry of bullets in the nation’s capital on Friday, prompting closures at several schools and leaving a community on edge. the suspect was found dead hours later.

The suspected gunman was found dead Friday night inside an apartment at the scene as officers from the Metropolitan Police Department carried out door-to-door searches of buildings in the area.

Hours earlier, police believe the man had erected a ‘sniper-type setup’ with a tripod and rifle in his apartment and began firing indiscriminately at passers-by below, the chief said of the Metropolitan Police, Robert Contee. The footage was recorded and uploaded to 4chan, an online message board.

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 to all recover, police said. For hours, authorities had been warning worried residents to stay home as they conducted a massive manhunt for the shooter.

Police have not released the suspect’s name, pending notification to his family, but had earlier said they were looking for a 23-year-old man from Virginia as a person of interest in the shooting. The man had been “linked to social media posts” that emerged as part of the investigation, Deputy Chief of Police Stuart Emerman said.

The 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 prep school at a private college.

The resonant bursts of rapid gunfire rocked the normally quiet neighborhood which is home to several schools and colleges and dozens of embassies. This sent frantic parents fleeing the scene and put Burke and other nearby schools on immediate lockdown.

Bibi Stewart of Anne Arundel, Maryland, was approaching the line to pick up her 12-year-old twins when she heard the shots ring out. She said it looked like the shots were coming from above and from a distance.

“They did it as soon as they were fired,” she said.

Stewart said she saw shards of glass in a bridge connecting different wings of the school and saw the tires of pick-up line cars explode.

“They just say they’re fine” and hide around the school with their friends and adults, she said of her children.

Police suspect that some of the bullets fired from the high-powered rifle may have traveled several blocks. At least two nearby businesses reported bullet holes in their windows.

Police in tactical gear were seen escorting people – including students from nearby campuses – out of apartment buildings in the area. Officers pointed their guns at other buildings and windows as people moved quickly down the street with their hands raised above their heads.

“I had to look into the eyes of parents tonight who are terrified … thinking about what might happen to their children,” District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser said at a press conference. “And we have experienced this too much in our country. The epidemic of gun violence, easy access to guns, must stop. People shouldn’t be afraid to take their children to school.

Police canvassed buildings in the area as they searched for the shooter for several hours. As officers approached the fifth-floor apartment where the shooter was locked up, they believe he committed suicide.

“We’re going to get to the bottom of this. We will find out what the motive is,” Contee said. “His intent was to kill and injure members of our community.”

The shooter had posted video of the shooting on 4chan, though police are still working to determine if it was live streamed or recorded and then uploaded online, Contee said. The video shows people running frantically as rapid gunfire rains down from above and the shooter apparently follows them through a sight as they flee for cover.

The University of the District of Columbia, which is located nearby, has quarantined itself, asking students and staff to shelter in place and stay put. In a tweet on Friday, the college said there had been an “active shooting incident near student housing.”

University student Eduardo Bugay said he was in his apartment on the first floor of the AVA building – the building where the shooter was eventually found – when he heard the gunshots.

“At first I was confused,” he said, unsure of what he was hearing. Then, he says, he got scared.

Bugay said the university sent emails asking students to stay put. About 30 to 40 minutes after he first heard the gunshots, police came knocking on his door to escort him and others out of the building.

A slew of law enforcement and emergency teams were dispatched to the scene. FBI agents arrived in an armored vehicle and the US Secret Service said their agents were assisting police with the search and at the scene. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said its officers are also assisting in the investigation.

Separately on Friday, emergency medical teams were called to the United States Supreme Court around 6.30pm after a man attempted to set himself on fire outside the building. The man was rushed by police helicopter to a local hospital and his condition was not immediately known.



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