Reader Reports Car Accident/Gun Shots at 9th and N St, NW

“Dear PoP,

Here are some images from about 4:30 this morning at the corner of 9th and N St NW. Next to Old City Green and down the block from the Long View Gallery and the Lamont Bishop Gallery. We were jolted awake by the sound of gun fire and the squeal of tires speeding away. The ambulance didn’t stay long, no one at the scene was injured. It took the police only a few minutes to arrive, but by then, whoever was in that vehicle was long gone.

P.S. Truth be told, PoP. I hesitated in sending these over. I don’t want to add to any negative perceptions of my neighborhood, but I remembered another incident many months ago on 8th and N, and PoP was the only place I saw anything reported about it. The most significant part about this, to me, is what’s not pictured. Before the sun was up, the tow truck arrived, scooped up the vehicle, swept away the glass – and life went on.

Runners jogged by on their morning efforts. The Circulator started its loop. Tomorrow the saxophone player will be once again outside Old City Green. The Long View Gallery will still invite all the neighborhood in for a monthly art opening. Pets will scamper over to Wagtime. Alabama fans will flock to the Old Dominion Brewhouse to grab 128 oz beer towers and cheer on their team. Conferences will jam the Convention Center during the week and the marching band will loop around it on the weekends. People will still trot through the alleys to find Rogue 24 or the secret entrance to SUNdeVICH.

Work will continue on the stores in City Vista, and the Yale apartments and lofts, and the condos above the Shaw metro station, and the new Convention Center Marriot. We’re still walking down the street to the Giant, and to the clothing swap at the Shaw library later today. Incidents like this happen from time to time, but this neighborhood won’t go back to the way it was in decades past. There are too many good people of all backgrounds and ethnicities moving in every week. Those that would do things like this in the dark of night, lost claim to our city long ago. They will continue to be pushed out by the forces of positive change.”

48 Comment

  • the PS was a bit preaching to the choir, no?
    i don’t know the demographics of pop readers, but i’d say most of us live in areas that have a lot of crime and we’re all willing to attempt to survive it because this is our home, and really, where the hell else are we going to go.
    many of us are here to stay.

    • Sounds like the OP was reassuring him/herself that buying a house in a high crime area was still a good idea and will continue to wait for the quick ROI.

      • It’s always struck me as a little strange that folks have such a hard time facing the reality that their neighborhood isn’t as safe as they might like. Not sure if it’s about pride in their neighborhood, fear of their property values going down due to crime [not really likely given the market here] or genuine concern about their personal safety. Either way, here are the crime stats for crimes reported withing 1000′ from the intersection of 9th & N NW in the past year:
        08/04/2010 to 08/04/2011
        Homicide 2
        Sex Abuse 1
        Robbery Excluding Gun 21
        Robbery With Gun 8
        Assault Dangerous Weapon (ADW) 8
        Assault Dangerous Weapon (ADW) Gun 2
        Burglary 10
        Theft 47
        Theft F/Auto 67
        Stolen Auto 10

        • I think a lot of it actually has to do with perceived quality of life. Many folks buying in troubled areas have somehow convinced themselves that the area is going to quickly turn around and become the next Dupont Circle in just a couple of years. Then reality sets in, and they realize that there is still plenty of crime out there, the coffee shop and the kite store are probably never moving in down the street, and their property values haven’t tripled overnight. It’s not hard to imagine that this has happened to a lot of people in DC, in recent years. And unfortunately, the state of the economy means that things are still probably going to get worse before they get better.

          Buying anything even remotely “affordable” in this town is still a roll of the dice.

      • You’re pretty much the biggest jackass who posts here. You never have anything valuable to say except to share why everyone’s neighborhood sucks.

  • I can dig the OP’s positive outlook.

  • You skipped clippers will be buzzing at Cuttin-Up barbershop, a neighborhood staple.

  • For some reason I feel like shouting, “Rudy! Rudy! Rudy!”

  • Just asking, but are you certain those pops were gunshots and not the tires popping, the squeals were the sound of a car getting out of control, and the driver fleeing because the car was stolen? Again, just asking.

    • My first instinct was to ask the same thing. Gunshots, cars squealing away and flipping over. It’s like something out of a Bourne movie.

      • For what it’s worth, I think I live in the OP’s building — that photo looks like it was taken from our roofdeck — and the sounds woke me up, too. They definitely sounded like gunfire; 5 shots in quick succession in a way that did not sound like a car backfiring. That said, I was uncertain enough that I didn’t call the cops, so it’s not as if it was absolutely clear. I heard a squeal of tires, but nothing that sounded like a car turning over. Shocking that things could be cleaned up so quickly.

    • Yes, they were gunshots and the car was not stolen. The driver was fleeing for his life from an attempted carjacking.

  • I mean…who is this person trying to convince? Also, plenty of hoods with all this type of charm and people don’t have shootouts on the street.

    With respect sir or ma’am who wrote this; it’s fine if you want to live there but it’s not for me. I left CH after it became too much. Best of luck to those who choose to live wherever.

    • I understand where you’re coming from, but things are changing in this city. It’s not just statistics, either. It’s easy to see happening right in front our our faces. It’s not helpful to be pollyannaish, but people’s pessimism — so often articulated on PoP — doesn’t seem to be based on the same experience that I’m having.

      There’s also the fact that if you want to own property in Washington, DC, your options are extremely limited unless you’re wealthy. It shouldn’t really be a mystery why people are moving into Columbia Heights and Shaw, despite their violence.

      Also, of course, 9th and N isn’t in Columbia Heights. It’s very close to downtown, and it’s a relatively nice neighborhood.

      • I think you misunderstand the cost structure to the DC region’s housing: it’s 100% based on safety (perceived and real).

        To say there are limited options is bogus. There are plenty of housing options. There just aren’t plenty of cheap housing options in established neighborhoods where somebody else has done the hard work of turning over a neighborhood for you. But that’s the game. What makes it a desirable neighborhood (low-ish crime, lot’s of amenities) is also what makes it expensive to live in.

        It’s very similar to every other economic decision you make in life.

        Maybe you move to a neighborhood that you can afford with good public transportation options like Anacostia and find out that it’s not that dangerous. Maybe you help turn it around, but maybe you become a “gentrifier”.

        It’s tough road when you’re a young idealist but you want everything your way.

        (And I’m using the royal you/r)

  • One of DC’s finest hot spots. Amazing, with all the cameras and security in this town, the gang bangers pretty much still have free run the place. Lanier chooses her battles, thugs in cars with guns cruising around looking for trouble, in all our wards, seems to not be on the top of her list.

  • Wonder if this is at all related to the murder in NE at 10am this morning?

  • Was it related to the Mood Lounge?

  • Why does the contributor find it so necessary to (seemingly) convince his(or her)self that life will go on as normal. Shit like this happens in DC. Get over it, the price of your apt. won’t drop suddenly just because of one incident.

    Why are you such a newb?

  • So, somebody had their nice Land Rover Discovery (I can tell by the two sunroofs – only SUV that has those and a rear-mounted spare tire) stolen, flipped, and caught in a gang-banger’s battle in a residential neighborhood… Can’t say I’m surprised. Why did Jack Evans hold on to ANY of Shaw in the redistricting battle? It’s obvious we’re not rich enough or white enough to warrant his concern….

  • I am surprised how consciously avoided was any mention to the Mood Lounge avoided in this article.

  • Wow – a simple crime report turns into some sentimentalist nonsense.

  • I am appalled all the trolling on the OP’s sentiments and well written submission.

    Everyone latches on to the violent act and disturbing photos and makes remarks about the OP’s poor choice of neighborhood and, property value, return on investment etc.

    Did you all read the post??? The OP is obviously engaged in what is happening in his/her neighborhood on a daily basis, for better or for worse. It is simply a lament over a shocking act of violence in a neighborhood where it is not unprecedented, but it is still striking none the less. The image is like something out of a movie.

    I applaud the optimism of the OP, and having the courage to submit their sentiments in such a thoughtful manner. People like the OP are ones that will make meaningful and positive change by keeping on with a positive attitude and an open mind.

    Sometimes a home and a neighborhood mean much more than property value – many posters here don’t seem to grasp that.

    • A segment of the people who post on PoP insist on posting assholish comments. They’re all bitter and cranky and give the rest of us newcomers to DC (who moved within the last 4 years) a bad name.

      • That, and OP’s comment was stupid

      • Oh take my word for it, if you stay here a little longer, you’re bound to become all cynical and jaded about all this shit, too. And if you don’t, I would question your mental stability.

      • I don’t get the impression that all the snark and negativity on PoP is solely from newcomers to D.C…. but yeah, the snark quotient is sometimes awfully high.

  • Positivity is good. Neighborhood pride is good too. But before you make a comment this charged there should DEF. be a pretentious disclaimer…e.g. “no pretentio, but…”

  • I’m sorry, but why does anyone suspect this has anything to do with people that live in the neighborhood? 9th is a major artery, especially with MD and NE folk who come down RI. I don’t understand how the OP doesn’t recognize this and assumes it’s somehow the neighbors. It’s not like the little punks in the PJs are driving pimped out Land Rovers these days. There are two trouble houses on N and O, but again, the trouble associated with these places is usually coming IN to the neighborhood, not FROM (I’m also looking at you, MOOD).

  • Some of you talking what the hell you do not know. That was my vehicle and my nephew was giving someone a ride and some asshole tried to carjack him, he panic and sped off and while making the turn, the vehicle flips. It happens, no matter where u r in the city or who u r, it can happen. I grew up in DC, right in that Shaw area but has lived over 200 miles away for the last 3 years to raise my son in a better and less dangerous environment and we come back to visit, just to have some jerks try and take what I work hard for. And if anyone is wondering, yes I am black. And we are just as much victims as all of you new folks who has no history with the area. Comments?????

  • I know thats right “Me”. We were raised in that area and know alot more than these “newcomers” that think they are changing things. We both are a product of Seaton Elemantary, and Shaw Junior High!!!!! Can the opinionated newcomers even tell you what those schools were about????? I really doubt it. We were living in that area before the Giant and O Street Market was even built!!!!! Can they describe what 9th street looked like before it became a 2-way street??????? NOT!!!! Do they know what occupied the space that is now the Convention Center??????? NOT!!!! Can they tell you the location of the former DC Convention Center (where we attended many New Edition concerts) without googling it?????? NOT!!!!!! Yessss there are still alot of unpleasant things happening in that area, but they are only getting a taste of it!!!!!!! I am 40 yrs old and when we first moved in that area I was 1 yr old and my mom just moved away 4 yrs ago!!!!!!! When we first moved there it was for the working class, majority, AFRICAN AMERICANS, and the streets were lined with parking meters. I remember my dad getting up EVERY morning around 7 to feed the meter. To all the “newcomers” who think you are changing the area, you are only getting it back to what it used to be!!!!!!! Its sad that people are quick to judge without knowing the facts or the history!!!!

  • Sunshine C,
    The neighborhood is changing and nothing will ever be the same, it is called LIFE. Nostalgia about the way things were does not help and neither does disliking those who were not here 40 years ago. In case you do not realize it most people who live in the US move every 5 or 10 years or so. They do so mainly for career advancement and in the process they move to a new neighborhood, make new friends, and start a new life. I would bet that this is what happened to a lot of the “new” residents who now call our neighborhood home. And it is home despite the fact that they don’t have your historical memory. But does this really matter? They care about the neighborhood and many have committed to making it a better place -and property values have increased, thank you very much. So why complain about them when we have so many other issues we should be focusing on which would increase our quality of life. Just a thought…

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