Shots Fired By Petworth Metro

DSCN0978, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

Unbelievable. There was a big party at the Park Place Complex above the Petworth Metro Thursday evening. I just received the following email at 11:38 pm Thursday:

“I live on the west side of Park Place and about 15 minutes ago someone unloaded 6 shots right under the building, in the alley. I didn’t see it but certainly heard it. Three squad cars showed up a few minutes later and the cops are out looking for shell casings now (heard them talking). I didn’t hear any voices before the shots and no screaming or voices afterwards, and no sign of an ambulance, so I guess no one was hit. At least that’s what it looks like. Maybe someone just wanted to end the party with a bang – 6 of them.”

Very frustrating ending to a great evening. To preempt some, you know who you are, this party was open to all and was extremely diverse in all categories.

53 Comment

  • Yeah– this happened just outside our window, and I think I actually saw the perpetrator running towards Rock Creek Church Rd (only for about a second before he was past the window). Will a police report be published anywhere?

  • this have anything to do with the helicopter i heard last night all the way down on u st?

  • i live right there was falling asleep when i heard the shots. but it was a little strange b/c there was no screaming or noise before or after the shots. i’m sure the cops came but i didn’t hear any sirens.

  • Well I for one don’t know how Id feel sitting on the balcony of my lux condo looking down on the people on the street. That would be way too odd to me. too Brazil or something. And them looking up at you sitting there with your 15 dollar six pack of craft beer tweeting on your iphone. the juxtoposition is just too grand. Someone could do a photo essay on it actually. MATT DUNN DO YOU HEAR ME?!

  • we heard the pops too from the other side of the park. Fun to watch the cops clearing out the rec center park all night because of the roof party at the park view. of course if you were on the roof, you might be wondering why there are so many cops around.

  • @Anonymous 9:00am: Interesting observation. I’ve heard others make similar comments asserting that the US is becoming third-world:

    – heading in the direction of no longer being a majority middle-class country
    – most property and wealth concentrated in the hands of the top 5%
    – uneducated/under-educated poor
    – failing infrastructure

    Is this where we’re going?

  • Go to an actual developing country and report back to us.

  • I was hoping he meant Brazil the Terry Gilliam movie, not Brazil the country.

  • “most property and wealth concentrated in the hands of the top 5%”

    Uh, don’t something like half of all Americans own their own homes?

  • I grew up in the United States in third-world conditions. It exists here. No running water until I was 15 (and moved), a communal well, etc.

    We’ve never been a majority middle class country though – we’ve been working poor, since basically the industrial revolution.

  • I am a RPCV and lived in a developing country for over 2 years.

    I do want to point out that I didn’t say that our country IS a third world country. Rather, I posed the question of whether our country is heading in the direction of becoming one.

    Also, half of Americans owning homes is unrelated to the concentration of wealth and property. You can have half owning homes and still have the top 5% owning the majority of property and wealth.

  • there’s a difference between owning a home and having a home loan.

  • Are we sure the shots had anything to do with the party? My guess is that someone just bought the gun (illegally, of course) and was firing off a few rounds to make sure it worked.

  • dcdude: Well that makes it all okay! For a minute there I thought it might be another sign that this city is still filled to the brim with dysfunctional losers who carry guns everywhere. I’m glad it wasn’t that serious.

  • News flash: We live in a city. Cities have all kinds of people. Some of those people are less than good, and some of these people also have guns. This will be the case until the end of time. Get used to it. Accept it. Or go live in the woods. But watch out for bears and snakes.

  • Yes, we should all accept this as normal and say something like “life goes on”. Except for the fact that the thug in question has probably been arrested almost weekly since he was 10, and has probably seriously hurt and victimized people already, and eventually will be killed himself or sent up for 12 years for murder. Thus, another completely unavoidable series of crimes, and if you get killed too bad. We live in a city that allows these things.

  • News flash: we live in a rather small city plagued with dysfunction, poverty and violence at a rate much higher than nearly every other city of comparable size in the nation. To suggest that this is just “the case until the end of time” is a sign that you are the one living in the philosophical “woods”.

  • Penny: You know it. As long as those 200-odd folks shot dead each year remain typically poor young men (who were doing bad things), it’s just the way things go. The fact that the city isn’t safe for a lot of people most of the time, and all of the people some of the time, just isn’t as important as whether Elwood Thompson sells $5 tomatoes in Columbia Heights.

  • Wow! A lot of assumptions with racial undertones here. Go ahead say it, “I want to rid the city of poor black men.” Be honest about your bigotry. At least we’d know who we’re dealing with.

  • Actually I think we’re discussing the tragedy of nearly 100% of murder victims in DC being black, not to mention victims of the other crimes, due to a dysfunctional city administration who’d rather they die than talk about the problem, which might hurt tourist income and property values. Sorry if caring about black people dying is racist, I guess by some academic definition it is. Weird world, and I’m outta here.

  • What is this Third World you speak of? Is that Eastern Europe? Texas perhaps?
    5% of the population owns or controls 90% of its wealth. Just how is this a problem? None of my servants have ever complained about this. Now if You’ll excuse me, I have some working class people to exploit, and resources to hoarde.
    J. Worthington Bottomjaw, IV

  • Anon @ 10:45– since you were the first in this thread to make the leap that complaints about thuggery, dysfunction and criminality were evidence of “bigotry,” I’d say you have some racist issues of your own to deal with.

  • I’m with you, Jim. There’s no mention of race at all on any of the 18 comments before Anon 10:45.

    We have far too many of these people around that prevent any meaningful discussion who have this hyper sensitive race radar that can only see life through the same prism. -Finger pointing, accusatory, always sniffing out the same when they’re just smelling themselves.

  • Jim: I think Anon @10:45 has a point in a way. A lot of the “what happens happens” crowd who think “they get what they got coming” develop that philosophy partly out of racism. While not as “in your face” or over the top as the KKK, subconscious racism does play a part in basically ignoring the deaths of young, primarily black men. To casually dismiss violence and murder as “just the case until the end of time” is incredible! Was that “just the case” on the street where Nicholas grew up? As that law-and-order high moralist Marion Barry has said on more than one occasion, if this city was serious about reducing the killing they’d make possession of a firearm a 10 year offense. Marion Barry, not some Republican Congressmen. It be very interesting to see the day where white DC residents got as indignant about the violence on the streets of this town as they do about being called “racist.”

  • So, back to the actual gunshots/party…

    Was there any reaction from the party organizers or was the party pretty much wrapped up by then? Any reaction from attendees who I assume might have included potential tenants? Somehow I doubt Park Place will be using “Good parties, nice people, occasional gunfire” as a marketing slogan, though that’s probably pretty close to what the truth will be.

  • I believe we owe great thanks to liberal laws and judges… and by the way… who runs this city and who has for decades… just saying, there’s probably a correlation…change who you vote for or change where you live, but know that even if you change where you live you will still be paying for it through taxes. Think about how much money is wasted maintaining the problems… but at least you feel good.

  • Pennywise: not all cities of this around the world have this level of gun crime.

    Should I say it? Gun control… oh nevermind.

    As for: “- most property and wealth concentrated in the hands of the top 5%” I would guess the US is already there. For example, according to this site “In the United States, the richest 1 percent of households owns 38 percent of all wealth.”

  • The shots happened about 45-60 minutes after the party wrapped.

  • 9:19 Anon

    I think the Brazil comment may have been related to the new high rises being built in Brazil that are totally luxurious but overlook the slums. There was a photo of them recently in some big US paper, but I can’t find it now.

  • @anon10:20am I don’t think dcdude was saying that the shooting was justified because it was unrelated to the party, I think he was responding to the initial post, where the party host seems to suggest that it was related, especially the part that says “To preempt some, you know who you are, this party was open to all and was extremely diverse in all categories.”

    Why does he/she feel the need to defend who was at their party? They seem to be saying that because their party was diverse, no one had any right to ruin their grand party. When really, the shooter probably could have cared less that there was a party going on.

  • That works, but I first thought of the TG movie too. Dysutopia, man.

  • Anon @ 1:11: What he was saying is “don’t worry, this shooting was not related to the party, it’s just the same-old same-old.” That’s the problem.

  • Eastern Europe was, during the era of Soviet occupation, “the Second World.”

  • should i get involved in this conversation? probably not, but here goes:

    unfortunately, many people don’t like shooters or sympathize for many of their victims in this city. i doubt it’s because of an innate or learned hatred for their skin color, culture, or class.

    it’s because so many of the shooters and victims willingly chose to involve themselves in illegal and violent activity. people pity the crossfire or stray-shot victims, but not the 18 year-olds dead in back alleys behind drug houses.

    It’s clear that a lot of people don’t have opportunities for advancement. but many Americans have trouble accepting the linkage between old school books, facilities, bad teachers and parents and a willing desire to sell weed and shoot at people’s houses at 4:00 in the morning. trust me, ordinary americans don’t think like sociologists or social workers.

    mainstream America values hard work and sacrifice for the next generation, and that doesn’t square too well with kids shooting each other on the street so they can prove their manhood or make a quick buck.

    so that’s my guess on why whitebread Americans lack sympathy. it’s because the people shooting and get shot don’t share values with most Americans, and whitebread America can’t figure out why.

  • Andy: That’s a nice bout of rationalization about “values” but it falls apart when you see the lengths those same whitebread families will go to protect their “children” who drunkenly rape girls, use the powder form of the same drug sold in Anacostia, or set up fraud schemes after getting a Harvard MBA. That’s the thing about subconscious motivation, it’s easy to rationalize. The very same teen boy in Anacostia who is “proving his manhood” or “making a quick buck” would be ADHD or “depressed” out in Bethesda. A “thug” in DC is a “behavioral issue” in Fairfax.

    The fact that your convenient “whitebeads” see the boys dying here in the District as the “other” who don’t share “values” only proves my point that racism plays a part. Back in the 1960’s people like George Wallace didn’t explain themselves in derogatory terms, instead they expressed the need for “duty” and “values” to be upheld.

    What “values” are upheld when a city filled with very wealthy, very well educated people ignore men barely out of their teens killing each other on the streets – that is – until it spoils a party they are having?

    Sadly, the “values” on display here are only all too American.

  • I think the last post (A 1:53) contradicts the earlier post (A 10:45) yet both accuse whites of racism in this case. Do they? My brain hurts. Should us honkeys talk about shootings or ignore them in DC?

  • OntarioRider: “Good parties, nice people, occasional gunfire” thats the win. Though i think Convenient to metro, shops, and pharmacueticals would also work.

  • you can call it what you want, but people don’t really sympathize with thugs, no matter where they are or why.

  • Andy, there was a lot of sympathy for the thugs on the Duke lacrosse team. Excuse me, I mean innocent white boys (who happen to threaten rape with broomsticks).

  • Penny: I wrote 1:53 but not 10:45 (by “Anon”), if that helps your head at all.

  • i have seen those same closets (brown with frosted glass in bedroom) in several different houses now. they’re really nice, and if i hadn’t seen them 3-4 times, i would have guessed they were custom.

    does anyone know who makes these and/or where to buy them?

  • please ignore 3:43 post – wound up on wrong page.

  • 1:53/3:34: you are out of your mind. “A ‘thug’ in DC is a ‘behavioral issue’ in Fairfax?” Get real. Teen drug use is teen drug use, teen vandalism is teen vandalism, that is as far as that goes. You think the “culture” in Fairfax would tolerate roving gangs of teens beating people up at the Vienna Metro like the “community” does at the Petworth metro? There is an identifiable sickness in this “community” that is not comparable in any way to the minor social ills of Fairfax or Bethesda.

  • Anonymous @ 3:53: That’s exactly the point. In Fairfax they don’t tolerate young men dying and in DC it’s only a problem if it ruins the rooftop party. The “sickness” is with those who chose to ignore what’s going on and fail to demand that the politicians make public safety for EVERYONE a real issue.

  • 4:18: You lost me again. I’m not seeing where your prior allegations of racism and lack of consequences for white boys comes in. The ones who are chosing to ignore what’s going on and failing to demand public safety for everyone in this community are the parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles of our precious young violent offenders. They are the same people who have been failing to demand accountability from the community’s young people for 30 years, and they are the same color as the young offenders, the Mayor, most of the City Council, the district police commander, our local PSA lieutenant…basically the entire power structure of the city.

    It’s those nasty “newcomers” (many, but far from all, white), who are one and the same as the people enjoying the party at Park Place, who ARE at the police meetings demanding public safety for EVERYONE… I’m not sure where you get that its only a problem for the newcomers when it ruins a rooftop party?

    Plus, even it that were the case, it would be a massive improvement over the status quo in the community, which is that it’s never a problem so long as the shooter is someone’s cousin, who we promise would never do such a thing and who never looked sideways at anyone his whole life, prays to jesus on sunday, is on his way to college and is saving it for marriage.

  • Harsh laws and harsh sentences don’t fix a society as sick as the USA’s uneducated permanent underclass. We need to lift people out of the underclass, not warehouse them in jail.

    For what it’s worth, no country on Earth imprisons its citizens at a higher rate than the USA. Western Europe and Canada have an incarceration rate one-seventh of ours, on a per-capita basis.

    And it wasn’t always this way. In 1970, the USA, Canada, and Western Europe had roughly the same incarceration rate. Ours zoomed up by a factor of seven, theirs stayed the same. The reason: our politicians figured out that playing the “tough on crime” card made for a great 30-second campaign commercial, and so our pols have been busy one-upping each other with ever-more draconian laws.

    More people in jail is NOT the answer: we’ve already tried that more aggressively than any country on Earth.

  • Bad Parenting (70%) + Lack of; outlets / resources / exposure (10%) + temptation of the streets (10%) + Community Apathy, often due to fear) (10%) = High level of crime in inner-city.

    Most kids are not thugs. Don’t confuse tough looking teenagers w/ criminals. Many teenagers have tough exteriors for survival. At the same time don’t make excuses for criminals…most know right from wrong. They are not looking for your help or sympathy.

  • Seriously everyone? All you need to read is [email protected]:43pm to understand the cultural divide in this neighborhood. I realize he posted in this discussion by mistake, but really, it speaks volumes . . .

  • for the record.. we have been living in this part of pw/ch for 5 years. I would say it has changed for the better, but it was never that bad to begin with. i m npot going to get into any race or poverty issues, but I will make an observation, from porch over the last few years. How you carry yourself, awareness of your surroundings, and general street smarts determine your level of safety. I see people walking up 10th late at night, beggin to get mugged (oblivious, shoulders slumped, head down). From my reformed alpha male view, they look like victims.
    anyways, shootings are not common around here, ga ave , sure but now we have that monstrous park place to block ga ave. we dont have fueding crews, most of the neighbors have been here for decades. everyone knows everyone so the crime is pretty low.
    most problems come from people going through the neighborhood.
    the developments on ga ave will certainly improve the economics of the area over the next 10 years, but if youo are wandering ga ave at 1am drunk. you should expect some problems.
    common sense, if you lack it. then the suburbs are for you. if you move into a city and have no idea how things work, who is running what and how to carrry yourself. that is not the fault of the poor, the thugs or the politicians.
    im not defending anything here, its just the current reality of dc.

  • My husband and I moved into Park Place 6 weeks ago. I have heard alot of negative talk about the condos on this blog. My husband and I chose Park Place because it was in a diverse area. Econimically and racially. I understand some of the points being made about “the rich” moving in. I just wanted to say that we moved here to be apart of Petworth. All of Petworth. Most of the people that live here so far really enjoy this neighborhood and are committed to spending money and creating econmic growth in the area. My husband and I are very street wise. We have lived in far worse areas than Petworth. We talk to & have meet several of the neighbors around Quincy & 10th. We walk our dogs & have meet alot of the kids in the area. We are comitted to helping this area in any way we can. I think it’s important to not judge people. We are not “rich people” looking down on the poor as someone put it. I know several people who live here that want to make a difference. Things are changing in Petworth & I hope that it will stay as diverse. We have to learn to live together and draw from each others strengths!

  • Welcome to the neighborhood A Strange.
    please note this blog and its forums always devolve into race and class. No matter what the subject. Also i dont think anyone believes that the PArk View is for looking down upon the poor, but the loud kids waiting for the buses, yes, that is an option.
    I like the building for blocking the noise on GA ave, the fact that they blast different music for parties adds an element. All summer its either latin or rap for parties, now dance too.

  • Also, people should keep in mind that 20% of the Park Place apartments are affordable housing, with rent based on a sliding scale linked to income. That’s the only one I can afford to live here. And I’ve met several people in the building who have lived in the neighborhood before and are excited to have the opportunity to live in a nice, new bldg. The residents are very diverse – families, older folks, young couples, singles. It’s much less homogenous than a new condo building in Logan Circle I used to live in, for instance.

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