Dear PoPville – Gunshots in SW?

“Dear PoPville,

I am writing to give you info about the continued violence in my neighborhood that I never hear about on the news. Last night [Tuesday] around 10:30 pm I heard 4-5 shots fired across the street from the Riverside Apartments on 4th St. SW. 2 cop cars followed and were looking for bullets with their flash lights. This was same exact location that 2 other shootings occurred earlier in November. I have heard that the cops are underpaid and violence rates keep increasing but they keep it under wraps because they are trying to “revive the SW” with the Wharf project. It is getting ridiculous. I am starting to question my safety walking home from work. The first shots I heard were earlier in the month around 7pm, it was barely dark out. Please let me know if you or your followers have heard anything about this.

Returned home at 8:30 tonight [Wednesday]. Down the street was completely blocked off by crime scene tape, cops, and ambulances. Nothing on the news.”

On the MPD 1D Listserve a resident asked:

“Can you please provide an update on the gunshots fired last night [Tuesday] on the corner of 4th/ O Streets SW? ”

MPD responded:

“MPD units received a call for the sounds of gunshots in the area. Entire area was canvassed and could not locate any shell casings, property damage or injured persons. The area was re-canvassed earlier this morning [Wednesday] and again found nothing.”

Last night MPD also emailed:

“Tonight [Wednesday] at approximately 8pm, the First District received a call for the sound of gunshots in the 1400 block of Canal Street, SW. Further investigation led to an adult male suffering from a non-life threatening gunshot wound. If you have any information regarding this shooting please call 202-727-9099 or text 50411.”

18 Comment

  • For what it’s worth, there was a report on Channel 5 back in September about rank and file police who are afraid to speak up about what is going on with regards to crime in the city.

  • valentina

    I live in SW and I’ve heard gunshot twice this week-last night and Monday night.

  • Also live in SW, but I haven’t heard anything. I’m further up the street on 4th though, about 2 blocks from Independence Ave…

  • Wow- I also live in SW but haven’t heard the gunshots either so thanks for sharing.

  • Southwest has ShotSpotter microphones, which detect gunshots and relay them to the police. These automated records (the Post and Urban Institute have done data visualizations) show that the number of shots heard in Southwest have declined over the years. This contradicts the correspondent’s hearsay that “violence rates keep increasing but they keep it under wraps.”

    • I lived in SW in 2007-2008 and gunshots were a nightly occurrence back then, so if they’re rare enough now to prompt an inquiry I’d say that’s a huge improvement!

    • Don’t be so condescending, especially since you’re wrong. The publicly available ShotSpotter data only goes through 3/2013. Since OP is talking about events occurring in 2014 your take is not only snide and condescending, but completely wrong.

      • The Post has a map of Shotspotter data going back to 2006: so maybe you should do research before accusing others of being condescending or wrong.

        I have lived in various places in SW for 5 years and feel that it hasn’t gotten much safer, but also hasn’t gotten less safe. By far the most frequent crimes are shoplifting from Safeway/CVS/7-11 or car breakins. But there are definitely folks who seem hellbent on shooting someone–often they don’t even live in the neighborhood but are hanging out. It would be useful to get the light tower back to SW–MPD 1D only has one and it’s apparently somewhere on Capitol Hill at the moment. I am personally not scared of being the target of violence as much as I am worried about being caught in crossfire. It amazes me how few people get shot compared to the number of shots fired; these gunmen have seriously bad aim.

        • I’m thinking you did not read the link you sent which clearly says the shot spotter data only goes through 3/2013, making it completely irrelevant to the OP’s observations about shots in 2014. This comment is attacking these poor people kept up by gunshots at night for no good reason and is completely wrong. Furthermore the post was, in fact, condescending and bizarre. “This contradicts the correspondent’s hearsay”? That doesn’t even make any sense!

      • I live ***one block*** from the OP. Haven’t noticed any difference from 2013-2014. If anything, since I moved here in 2011, it’s much quieter, especially at the Safeway — and louder, since there are more young residents. I think the neighborhood is on the up-and-up.

        As for “completely wrong,” my statement stands: the data show that the number of shots has declined “over the years.” As someone who takes facts seriously, I will remain “snide and condescending” towards alarmist people who write vague, unverified, illogical, and frankly specious assertions like “I have heard… they keep it under wraps… they are trying…” Who are “they,” for starters?!

  • I moved to SW about a year ago and I love it……during the day. At night it seems like everyone who approaches you is drunk and/or high on whatever telling you that they’ve lived in the neighborhood their whole life and asking or sometimes outright demanding that you give them money. I’m sure this will remain a problem as long as all the public housing is there

  • Allison

    I heard the shots on Tuesday at 10:30pm too. I was almost asleep, but they were very loud and jarred me awake. I also someone scream something that sounded like “I SEE YOU!” or “I SEE THEM!”

  • I live at 4th and P and I heard the gunshots tuesday night. 4-5 in rapid succession.

  • I live at the corner of 4th and P st. I actually was driving on P st (making a left turn from the 4th) when the gunshots were fired 5 times or more around 7:40pm. the security at my apt. happened to be outside and heard it as well. I turned my car right away.

  • I live at the corner of 4th & O SW, directly across from where the gunshots were fired this week, and in November. The gun is, obviously, a large caliber weapon — the shots sounded like a cannon. As I mentioned, in my emails to Andy Litsky [and my neighbors should too], it appears that, as in the case in November, the 3 teenagers, that ran toward the Safeway, each time, appear to be making a statement to the Channel Square “Crew” [a group of about 20-25 young males]. The gunshots are not breaking anything [except the law]. Nor, are the, apparently, directed at someone’s person [or, someone would be carted off in an ambulance, by now.]

    The Communications [911], in this last instance, was overwhelmed to the point where calls went unanswered and/or my neighbors put on hold for lengthy periods of time. The November occasion, MPD was on the scene VERY quickly.

    I have lived at the corner of 4th & O SW since 1997. I remember gunshots only one time about 10 years ago. Until recently. That occasion was attempted robbery, directly under my 2nd floor balcony.

    We did have teenagers beating up people on the east side of 4th Street SW, from M to P Streets, back 8-9 years ago. That is when two shut down public housing projects tried to merge in Channel Square. Which, I may add, has housed neighborhood problem youth for years. [Disclaimer: not all of Channel Square, but, a few units where parental guidance is limited.]

    The neighborhood is great to live, minus the problems we are now seeing.

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