By Deborah Bailey,
AFRO D.C. News Editor
Washington D.C. residents are still reeling after four separate shooting incidents during the week beginning on April 25 in a surge of violence spanning several sectors of the city, according to Metropolitan Police. Four persons were hospitalized and one death occurred due to the spurt of violence that rocked the city.
The violence started on the evening of April 25, when a man in Ward 8 was taken to the hospital after being found shot. The victim said men approached him, took his cell phone and shot him. Later that evening a man was found shot on South Dakota Avenue NE, but could not be revived. Less than 30 minutes later, another man was found shot in his vehicle on 22nd street Southeast and was hospitalized. Early in the morning of April 26, a fourth man was shot on the 4400 block of E Street S.E.
This week’s violence occurred just days after a sniper attack in broad daylight on April 22 in the city’s Van Ness neighborhood in Northwest D.C., near a local private school. All four victims of the shooting are alive, two remain in critical condition as Van Ness neighbors gathered to discuss the shootings on Monday.
Raymond Spencer, 23, of Fairfax County, Virginia was the alleged shooter in the assault-style ambush in the Van Ness neighborhood incident. He died at the scene of the apartment where shots were fired from an apparent suicide, police confirmed. Police recovered six weapons in the shooter’s apartment, including handguns, long guns and multiple rounds of ammunition.
On April 25, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and Metropolitan Police Chief Robert J. Contee announced a new Police Unit that would be focused on violent crime in the District in the wake of the recent surge in violence.
“We cannot allow people to terrorize our communities with guns,” said Bowser.
“This is about using a whole-of-government approach, but it’s also about focusing our attention and resources on exactly where we know the problem is. Our message is clear – we will continue to offer people in our city a better path forward, but if people choose to engage in violence, then they will be held accountable,” Bowser said.
The new collaborative Violent Crime Intelligence Task Force (VCIT), an effort between Metropolitan D.C. Police and federal partners are aimed at removing illegal firearms from the community and apprehending armed criminals. The focus of the VCIT is to reduce violent crime by using more intelligence-driven operations and enhance our investigative abilities through federal agency partnerships.
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