First off, an urban survival tip: Don’t try driving around Columbia Heights this afternoon—-14th Street is blocked off and so is Irving Street.
The occasion for the extreme traffic measures is a crime scene at the Columbia Heights Metro stop. This afternoon, two people were shot in the lower extremities just outside the entrance to the station’s entrance on the west side of 14th Street. WJLA is reporting that the fight might be related to an incident at the summer jobs program orientation held today. The meeting turned ugly and police confiscated a revolver and brass knuckles.
According to officials on the scene, the trouble started on the Metro train: Two passengers allegedly got into a heated argument en route to the station, and things got even more animated as they departed for 14th Street. The shots were fired around five to ten feet from the station’s entrance, hitting one of the people involved in the argument plus a bystander. Both were rushed to the hospital.
At least 15 police officers are now on the scene, along with Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham and citywide patrol czar Diane Groomes. Graham, always helpful at these scenes, said that the crime happened in a spot ideal for law enforcement—-right in the vicinity of security cameras and amid tons of witnesses. The police arrived quickly, too, said Graham.
Graham called the actions of the perp “insane.”
In the hour or so after the shooting, a significant crowd gathers at the corner of 14th and Irving NW. More than few brandish cellphone cameras. A teen walks by the crime scene and shouts: “Who got shot? Tupac?”
At 4:15 uniform and plain clothes police are still scanning the pavement in front of the metro. They are looking for bullet fragments and shell casings.
“We got two frags sergeant,” one cop says.
“There’s another casing right here,” says a plain clothes cop.
“The casings are so dull they’re hard to see,” complains another.
The cops think they found three. Makeshift yellow markers are replaced with real ones, the ones with numbers.
2nd Update: Photos from the Scene
*photo by Darrow Montgomery.