Dear PoP – Gun pulled at Columbia Heights Metro Escalator

Photo by PoPville flickr user Aziz .

“Dear PoP,

Someone pulled a gun while chasing a guy up the escalator at Columbia Heights Metro – I think the guy stole his backpack. A bystander claims that it was a cop, but he didn’t identify himself. About 5 minutes later there were a ton of sirens that sounded as if they were a couple of blocks away. Have you heard anything about it or an arrest?”

Haven’t heard anything yet. Will be sure to do so if/when I do.

This email was received about 7:30 pm Mon. evening. This follows the recent trouble at the Columbia Heights metro Friday morning.

63 Comment

  • Was leaving giant at 7:45pm and saw a few unmarked cop cars dodging through traffic with sirens headed to the metro….what the hell is going on at that stop this month?? Short of MPD placing uniforms at the metro around the clock I don’t see a quick solution to this…….
    Also would love to hear the final story on the security officer who fired his weapon on 14th street at 9am the other day…

  • Cops all over the gas station at 14th and Euclid too, which had police tape up around one of the pumps and looked closed for all intents. The police there all watched the other cruisers heading up 14th, probably to the incident at the Metro.

    Hot time, summer in the city…

  • Despite all the development, Columbia Heights is still the ghetto.

    • You obviously have never seen a ghetto if you think that’s what CH is. Yes, there is still crime there and it has issues, but a place that has gorgeous side streets with well taken care of row homes, multiple upscale coffesshops, and half million dollar condos is not the ghetto. Sorry.

  • I live on 13th and Euclid. I was sitting on my porch enjoying this fine spring/summer evening when I heard the sirens and watched cops race towards 14th. Things have been chippy around the neighbor lately.

  • Are the Guardian Angels still active in DC? I remember the group setting up headquarters in Adams Morgan during a wave of robberies and rapes in the mid-late ’90s. They did a lot of public education about safety and crime prevention, and it seems that their presence helped things a bit. They also recruited new members from the neighborhood–some of the same kids who were causing problems became angels. It was a good program. Maybe worth lobbying to get them up here in CH as well.

  • The police at the BP at 14th and Euclid were there because some kid backed a massive uhaul right into one of the pumps, knocking the actual dispenser off kilter. Surprised they didn’t close the station completely, but it wasn’t due to a violent crime or theft.

  • The emailer is misinformed. I was in the station and on the escalator at the time and the guy that pulled the gun was a plain clothes officer (actually there were two of them) and yelled “Police, stop!” multiple times while chasing the suspect through the metro station and up the escalator. And I don’t believe the suspect was carrying a backpack as he fled.

    • Anybody besides me think that maybe the cops – plainclothes or not – should be a little less hasty to pull their guns?

    • I’m the one that emailed this in to PoP. I was also on the escalator when the gun was pulled (which is a bad place to be when shit is going down) and I never heard the man identify himself. Don’t get me wrong, I hope you’re right – I’d rather it be a cop than a random person with a gun in his pants – and there was in fact a lot of “Stop!” but no “Police!” with that.

      There was in fact a backpack though. I saw that one pretty clearly.

      • I was actually on the escalator too. He did yell “Police” several times. And I heard him yell “Stop” and “If you don’t stop I will shoot.”

  • No, I dont think officers should be less hasty in pulling their guns. As long as they keep they’re finger off the trigger while they’re running that is. What were to happen if the suspect they were pursuing pulled a gun while running and turned to fire on them. If they didn’t have their gun out, they wouldn’t be in a position to respond.

    I also think that if someone yells “police stop” people should get the hell out of the way. An officer shouldn’t have to keep yelling “police stop” just to notify everyone who’s not paying attention to their surroundings that they’re pursuing someone. But, generally speaking, its kind of like when an ambulance or fire truck is coming from behind you, the car in front can’t always see what’s going on until the car behind them pulls over to get the hell out of the way. And yet, we all think we can and deserve to drive that extra two blocks before they reach us because our 3 minutes of time saved is worth more than whatever situation their responding to is.

    Defnitely no offense to the OP for not hearing the cop yell to begin with, but if a bystander says its a cop, you should probably believe him/her and respond accordingly by moving out of the way.

    • Trust me, if there’s a guy with a gun I’m moving out of the way regardless of how he identifies himself. However, there’s really no place to go on the escalator except up.

  • Why not put a koban at the Metro station? Would make a lot of sense…

    • Great idea. DCUSA should turn over a vacant spot to MPD for a couple of years. It should be rent-free until they fill it up.

  • I was on the escalator as well at the time (around 5:30) and the guy definitely identified himself as a cop. He yelled “Stop, police! I will shoot you.” That was all I needed to hear to get the hell out of the way! The guy being chased was wearing a bright yellow polo and one of the two guys chasing him (police I presume) was indeed holding a handgun. They ran east down Irving and less than a minute later I heard the sirens. I’d be curious 1) why they were chasing this guy (I don’t think I saw a backpack) and 2) if they caught him. Any update????

  • Damn thugs. Ugh.

  • Its gonna be a rough summer in CH.

  • Ahhh, CH. As long as all those projects and section 8 remain, it will always be ghetto. Granted, it’s a dressed up ghetto, but a ghetto none the less. Take a stroll around 14th and Fairmont if you doubt it.

    • You quite obviously have no idea what a ghetto is and you quite obviously don’t spend a lot of time in either ghettos or at 14th and Fairmont.

      Columbia Heights is one of the most successful urban renewal projects in the nation. Asshole contrarians who live in Ballston will continually make these sorts of uninformed, quasi-tarded comments each and every time there a CH crime post.

      Go get lost in the New Orleans ghetto, or even the Florence, SC ghetto, and see what happens to you. I expect you’ll view your experiences on 14th and Fairmont considerably differently.

      • Look,I like CH just fine. But there are limits to the potential urban renewal there precisely because there is such a high concentration of low-income housing.

        Try walking south down 14th Street below the DCUSA development. It’s like walking the gauntlet. Between public and private low-income housing developments, there is so much concentrated there that people will inevitably use the word “ghetto” because that is, essentially, a ghetto — a concentrated housing block dedicated to a particular population (in this case, poor people).

        That shit ought to be dispersed better throughout the city. And frankly, Georgetown is in desperate need of some of this low-income housing. We in CH are in desperate need of less of it.

  • Ha ha. You bought there and then realized you moved into a ghetto. Now your only recourse is to pretend like it isn’t. Daily robberies, car thefts, frequent shootings. Please honey, that is G H E T T O. Just because you can point out worse ghettos doesn’t mean you don’t live in one. Next time check the crime stats before you rent/buy and stop being such a dumbass. Hint – the DC section of

    I used to go there to go to Giant, Best Buy, etc. but I got scared away by all the thugs, not to mention the garbage that the ghetto trash throw everywhere and the omnipresent dog poop.

    • This is amusing. You’re empirically wrong about crime statistics and I’d bet you’ve never even looked at them. My hunch is that you’re scared of black people.

      Please move back to Wisconsin, honey.

      • 753% the national murder rate for zip 20010. Source: You are wrong, just like when you thought CH was a safe place to live.

        Nice how anyone who disagrees with you is a racist.

        • If you fear being murdered in the 20010 zip code, it’s because you’re a fool. You’ve got no idea what you’re writing about. Pulling out murder rates without any context makes you a high school debate flunkie. Well done.

          Pointing out the obvious: this is the Prince of Petworth. If you dislike CH so much, I’m assuming you’ve got the same issues with Petworth. Why are you even commenting on here?

          • So I’m wrong about the crime stats. Then I cite crime stats from a reputable source and I’m still wrong. So, basically, you say the crime rate isn’t bad. Then I prove it is bad. And I’m still wrong. Guess you are always right, huh? w/e. Enjoy your muggings. Hope they don’t drag you into some alley and…

            I am here b/c I used to go there a lot to visit friends and shop. I thought it would be the next Logan (which has projects and section 8 of its own). I got scared out and my friends moved to get away from all the crime and the extremely rude, belligerent and overtly racist “lower-income” folks.

        • agreed. the racism angle is fucking stupid.

        • so cleveland park is ghetto too? according to the post the rate is 666% higher than the national average. Where do you live m?

    • I think M stands for moron.

      • Dude, you’re Cornholio. And I’m the moron? Idiot.

        • Yes, you are in fact, the moron. Thanks for playing.

          When one makes sweeping generalizations about a neighborhood and the “ghetto trash” that reside there, in my mind you fall in to one of two categories, or both – a moron or a bigot.

          Thanks for calling all who live there dumbasses in your original post, btw. Implying I did not do my research, etc, before choosing my neighborhood of residence. I have lived in the DC area for 5 years in various parts of the city, and I am quite happy in CH, warts and all.

          I could go in to a sweeping generalization based on assumptions about you residing in the suburbs, etc, but I will not. I will just leave it at M stands for moron.

          Now give me some TP for my bunghole.

          • Please. 753% the national murder rate for zip 20010 = GHETTO. Yeah, you are a dumbass. And now I’m a bigot because I don’t like getting mugged. w/e. Oh, and you also appear to have an obsession with feces. Get help!

          • I think this is an important advantage of having the section 8 projects and other affordable housing in Columbia Heights. It keeps people like M out of the neighborhood. I’m quite happy to have people of M’s ilk self-select themselves out.

          • M is obviously a huge Beavis and Butthead fan.

  • Funny how this post degenerated (predictably) into a diatribe against low income residents of Columbia Heights. For all any of you know, whoever the cop was chasing could live in PG County and could have just bolted the train at the CH stop because that’s where the train was when the doors opened. But no need to let facts, or the absence thereof, get in the way of a good rant.

  • Mmmm….I have spent a good bit of time in a few different places that certainly look more “ghetto” that CH and are a bit “harder” (read: Detroit, areas of Philly and Chicago) but appearance isn’t everything. The activities that go on in this neighborhood would certainly be those I think a lot of people would associate with any ghetto- it just so happens that this is a gentrified ghetto where you’ve got 15 year old thugs with 9mm robbing people with ipads and purse dogs. I’m not scared of black people or white people and brown people but if it acts like a ghetto it is a ghetto regardless of who the victims or perps are.

    • Yeah, but folks here get all in a tizzy for calling a spade a spade. It stikes me as odd since everyone I know that either has lived there or currently does makes fun of it and calls it ghetto fab and similar. And almost everyone has crime stories about CH, even here. Once you get away from 14th, there are some nice, reasonably safe streets but it’s pretty hard to ignore 14th, basically from Florida all the way to Park with a few exceptions. And the 14th St buses…no, no, no. I’d prefer to keep my sunglasses and iPhone thank you.

  • CH is far from ghetto. Sure, opportunists spend time there, but go to Baltimore, near the brewery. That’s ghettorific. I’m not even sure if they pick up the bodies there anymore.
    CH is a mix of people, none of them trusting eachother. I’ve been there day and night and not once have I been worried about my safety. Let the cops pull their guns. The shock value is wort it. Let’s the little shits know they mean business.

  • DC has crime – all parts of it. Plug in a dupont circle address into the DC crime map and you will find a comparable number of burglaries, thefts, etc as you will find in CH. I realize it is more populated – but the fact remains that we live in a city. Please do not single out CH. Last year there was a shooting in broad daylight on U street following a funeral, and that started a brief following of “U street is the ghetto” blog entries. While I do not condone the violence in CH, I will say that it is almost entirely involves young criminals/those caught in turf stuff, etc. Yuppies are more likely to get killed by a metro train than in any neighborhood in Columbia Heights, or petworth for that matter. So stop freaking out. Those who are posting that CH is the ghetto clearly do not live in NW.

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