A gunman sprayed bullets from a moving vehicle into a crowd, killing four and wounding at least five others, before leading police on a chase into a neighboring county. Three people were arrested in the drive-by shooting Tuesday, but investigators said the motive wasn’t clear.
The victims were hit by gunfire at about 7:30 p.m., said D.C. Metropolitan Police Department spokesman Officer Hugh Carew. Fire Department spokesman Pete Piringer says all were in their 20s and 30s, except for one teen.
By late Tuesday, one victim had died at the scene, a second was pronounced dead at the hospital and the third died in the operating room, hospital officials said. Early Wednesday, police spokeswoman Gwendolyn Crump said the fourth had died.
Four D.C. officers were slightly injured while chasing a suspect’s vehicle into neighboring Prince George’s County in Maryland, authorities said. A weapon was also recovered.
The Washington Post reported that police pursued a van from the scene, aided by a helicopter.
Police had cleared the scene Wednesday morning, but there were still five police cruisers parked outside a brick garden-style apartment building on a main road that links the area to downtown. There was gauze and a blood-covered gauze package on the sidewalk, which was wet and smelled of bleach.
Sections of D.C. have crime problems, but residents told local media they were surprised by the violence and didn’t consider the neighborhood dangerous.
But D.C. Councilman Phil Mendelson said the area is known for drugs and related violence. He is the chairman of the D.C. Council’s Committee on Public Safety and the Judiciary.
Washington reported 143 homicides last year, the fewest in nearly 50 years.