Dear PoPville – Anyone Else See the Drive By shooting on Rhode Island Ave, NE Last Night?


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Dear PoPville,

I was driving home from work on Rhode Island Ave, near 2nd St NE, around 9:00pm and stopped at a red light. When the light turned green I saw the guy in the car in the lane next to me lean out his window and fire four shots (+/-) into the car behind me. The shooter went by me and drove off. I called the cops and gave as much info as I could, but I wonder if there are any alerts or others that saw it. I have no idea what happened to the person behind me, but hopefully they weren’t killed. I noticed the shooter driving oddly, but definitely didn’t expect that. I wish I got a better look at him and his license plate, but maybe someone else did.

27 Comment

  • There’s nothing about it on the MPD-5d listserv (yet)… maybe ask there?

  • Has anyone ever tried to follow up with MPD? Are they ever responsive/do they give you information you requested?

    • I can only speak for 4D, but the sergeants, lieutenants, and other officers are extremely responsive on the listservs and via e-mail. Even the chiefs chime in from time to time.

  • Holy scary.

  • I’m the OP… The 911 operator seemed to want to get me off the line quickly as she didn’t even ask what the person looked like. I had to say hold on, I have more information to provide. Maybe she wanted to pass the info on quickly to an officer, but still seemed odd.

    There were a few other cars around so hopefully someone got a better look at his license plate. Definitely a terrifying experience, but I’d like to know what happened to the victim(s).

  • Post to MPD listserv, 1D is very responsive, as was 7D when I lived over there.

    And not to be judgmental, but you didn’t wait for the police to show after you saw a shooting? I’m not sure what I would have done either (so again not being judgmental), but aren’t people supposed to stick around after you witness a crime like that? Am I wrong?

    • I think so, but it seemed like the police didn’t really ask the OP a lot of questions. I am sure if they wanted to speak with the OP in person, they would have asked, right?

    • Fair question. My first thought was, holy sh!t did I just see that? I was concerned about him following me or something since I was a witness (probably a bit paranoid, but I wasn’t thinking clearly in that situation). Once I realized he turned at the next street I called 911 and provided what I could along with my number. Not much else I could do really.

    • Umm, if people are shooting, you should go someplace safe. You should not park at the crime scene or arouse suspicions of the person shooting/

  • crazy. do you think it was a random shooting? or did there seem to be an altercation, road rage, anything?

    • Obviously I don’t know the motive, but he was in the right lane heading west on Rhode Island. At the light on top of the hill (RI and 2nd St, NE I believe), he stopped about 25 feet short of the line, which I thought was odd at the time even.

      Light turned green, heard a bang, looked in my mirror and saw him leaning out the window followed by a few more shots before he sped off heading north.

      I would imagine the victim was targeted and it wasn’t random, but who knows.

  • It’s a “drive by” when it happens in the hood, but it’s just “road rage” when it happens in the burbs… *sigh*

    • The good thing about the “hood” (and yes, it’s mine), people rarely shoot strangers. Just people they know…

      • Which is likely why you won’t see any coverage of this event. Unless someone was hit by a round badly enough to require medical treatment or upstanding citizen’s homes/cars are hit this may be somewhat of a non-event in the eyes of MPD. In this situation MPD was probably dispatched, didn’t find a body, struck property or obvious evidence of a crime [pool of blood, spent casings] and it was probably just written up as ‘sounds of gunshots’. There are probably a few hundred ‘sounds of gunshots’ calls and/or shotspotter [gunfire sensor] activations all over the city each month. The city used to make this data public, but I haven’t seen it in years, and have a suspicion it’s now intentionally made difficult to access if available at all.

    • i don’t get your point at all. we live in the city. we’re talking about an incident. road rage is when people get angry because of the way others are driving. a drive by is a more calculated attempt on someones life, someone the shooters knows. road rage is usually between strangers with no connection.
      it has nothing to do with suburbs or hood.

  • I think what people seem to be overloking is that we shouldn’t have to e-mail a listserve to get good, basic police response to a shooting. If the person hadn’t posted this to PoP, it would have never happened as far as anyone would know, as the police probably didn’t even take a report. If there’s no report, there’s no shooting, so it’s not in the crime stats.

    • how much time and cost is there in making out the report?

      • gotryit

        The police take reports by phone for some things – that can’t cost too much.

        • is the length of the phone call the extent of the time an officer spends filing a report? is it an officer that files the report by phone, or a clerk that is not needed out on the streets?

      • The beat cops I’ve chatted with say it’s usually very easy to do a report- maybe 5 minutes of time. It’s all on computer, so basically they just have to fill out a form with the date, time, details, etc. There’s no excuse (except laziness and keeping crime stats down) for not taking a report.

    • Received an email back from the police and they received two calls (one mine) about gunshots, but when they responded the victim wasn’t there and they couldn’t find any evidence of a shooting. Basically the scenario posted by someone above seems to have taken place.

      I know there were a few other cars on that side of the road, so it’s a bit disheartening to hear that a few didn’t even bother to call in. Also disappointing to know the shooter will clearly get away with this, although if the victim lived I can imagine another incident like this taking place (assuming it wasn’t random).

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