Shooting at 14th and Columbia Road, NW around 8:20pm


Multiple readers report a shooting/shots fired at 14th and Columbia Rd, NW.

“5-6 heard gunshots in #ColumbiaHeights on 14th and Columbia, cops chased someone on foot in alley behind @CentroNia. @PoPville”

“@PoPville There was just three shots fired near 14 and Columbia, couldn’t get close but supposedly someone was down.”

At 1pm today there was a shooting at 14th and Girard St, NW. Updates when more is known.

55 Comment

  • It was 7 shots total.

  • Shots fired closer to 8:10, 6 or 7 shot in the alley or parking lot between Columbia and Harvard. Good God, it was loud and close!

  • Wow, I had just walked outside at 14th/Irving around this time. Saw cops chasing a dude up 14th and tackled him in front of Potbelly’s. After I went in and out of CVS, I saw him sitting on the curb in cuffs, I guess being questioned.

    • WMATA/Metro needs to have police staffed OUTSIDE of the Columbia Heights metro station 24/7. This has gone on too long.

      • Completely agree. There are some key problem spots where they should put officers regularly. I know they always argue that keeping them in cars is more effective and allows more mobility, but some spots need officers out.

        • I live on Harvard and heard the gunshots last night, so close. And not to stick up for the DCPD because there is a LONG way to go but in the last week I’ve seen more police on foot patrol on my street, who knows if that will last. But they never seem to want to be in that park or up by the metro.

  • This is really scary; two shootings in the same afternoon in very close proximity (and one right in front of a Preschool). I hope the police can track this down ASAP.

  • Sigh. I don’t even know what to say anymore.

    • “I don’t even know what to say anymore.”
      Answer: Same as it ever was?

      • Exactly. Or even better than it was. I moved here in 2008, and this area has gotten WAY better than it was. Still a ways to go, but its not like this is a new thing or even a spike for that immediate area.

      • As soon as I saw the headline, I thought “again?”–there is always drama at this location. ALWAYS.

      • I lived on that block for 4+ years starting just before DCUSA was built. When I first moved in, there were somewhat frequent shootings, but there were zero in the last couple years while there (granted, Girard was a different story). It seemed that there was a lot of momentum towards reducing violent crime that now seems to have stalled if not reversed.

  • Anyone know what the police activity was about earlier in the evening (around 6:30) on Columbia b/w 14 & 15th? There were about 6 police cars and an ambulance with police tape in front of one of the apartment buildings.

  • Wow – 2 shootings in one day within a few blocks. Will not be venturing out again tonight. Definitely taking the dog out on the buildings rooftop.

  • And nothing from Brianne Nadeau even though that area has turned into the Wild West. She sure wants to build more affordable housing though!

    • You do realize that “affordable housing” in DC means like $60,000/year, right? So that means teachers and nurses and police officers?

      Everybody in DC not as rich as a corporate lawyer is not a thug.

    • affordable housing is the best thing that could happen to this city.

      • Insatisable demand. We would all like cheaper housing. I would also like to live across the street from where I work. Not possible. To ensure market-based incentives to sustain properties, I suspect the best solution may be to expand means-tested vouchers for people who can prove they work in DC. That sustains incentives to maintain properties for market-based buidlings; sustains incentives to build more housing to accommodate demand, increase the tax base, and hopefully drive down oevrall prices; and creates the mix of incomes needed to help ensure everybody’s success and the wonderful diversity of our city.

        • Agree 100%. If we need to subsidize housing for certain lower-income people (which is all “affordable housing” means in economic terms), then means-testing the recipients and providing them a direct subsidy is the best way to help them out. Forcing builders to incorporate affordable set-asides or even worse turning the city into a housing owner is just a recipe for sub-standard units that don’t serve anyone well. Why are our local political leaders so wedded to taking on the role of central planners for parts of our society?

  • Very scary. Counted five shots fired around 8:13 in quick succession (no more than a few seconds), but sounded like a semi-automatic. I was surprised I didn’t hear any yelling or screaming before or afterwards. Sounded like it was in the alley between Columbia and Harvard. I hope these shootings don’t get worse as it gets hotter.

  • Just talked to a police officer outside my building (where the shooting seemed to have occurred), and he said they still haven’t found the gunman. They’ve put police tape at the entrances to the parking lot between Columbia and Harvard (west of 14th), where the Zipcars are.

  • I was on the Circulator about to turn left from 14th on Columbia when this happened. The driver said he heard shots and was asking if any of the riders heard it. I did not and didn’t realize until I saw people running and cops with guns drawn that he wasn’t referring to the earlier incident in Columbia Heights. I saw at least 3 different guys patted down but none were cuffed. I didn’t see any victims and no ambulance showed up while we were stuck there on the bus. I did see a guy in cuffs sitting on the curb closer to Irving, probably the same guy DRC mentioned.

  • Did anyone get an email alert about this or the earlier shooting? I didn’t get either, but they sure did send a bunch this mornings by about the flooding.

  • And we wonder why there are so many vacant storefronts in DC USA.

  • I don’t know what to say anymore, either. I feel like Columbia Heights is regressing while other neighborhoods are improving. The constant loitering and the open air drug market between irving and columbia is contributing to all of this. There are phases when the police are around a lot and then you won’t see them for a while. Even when they are around it seems that they are not in tune with what’ going on and illegal behavior continues under their noses.

    We are not getting good retail and this is a big part of the reason. We get 5 and below while Petworth gets hip bars. I just don’t get it.

    • This is why the community itself has to demand action — from the police department up through and including Lanier — as well as from the brand new council member. That there is an open-air drug market going on (assuming that this is true) in a neighborhood with extensive retail (although waning) and mixed residential use requires a new dialogue and community action plan with the police and the DC council. If Columbia Heights moves backwards the violent criminals will have won and what was a vibrant area will be lost.

      • I would like to draw a 20 foot chalk circle directly under the Columbia Heights metro awning and tell a police officer (one from DC and one from Metro), Chief Lanier and our council member “Stand in this circle and do not leave!” I’ve seen this tactic work with puppy training.

        An outhouse could be delivered, in addition to 3 meals a day. One chair, and they can take turns using it. Oh, and no cell phones. Only a radio.

        Given the prevalent crime it is unfortunate Jehovah’s Witnesses outnumber police in this small 100 foot by 100 foot area.

        • I could not agree with this more. There are always a few cops posted up on 14th street in their cars, but clearly they aren’t deterring a damn thing. Put them on the street and make them pay attention to what’s going on. If we can see crime happening every day, why can’t they?

  • I was with my boyfriend at his house when we heard this. This alley is behind his house, and we often hang out in the backyard. This is super scary.

  • This shit is a big reason why KenyonDweller no longer dwells on Kenyon. I stuck it out for 13 years, most of which were great, but I just got worn down by the never ending neighborhood violence.

    • Part of the reason we are leaving as well. While we’ve been talking about moving for a while, the sexual assault a month or so ago down 14th and right across from my gym was the last straw. Not to mention the constant shootings and stabbings since then. The area is a mess, and gentrification isn’t causing the problems…

  • DC-USA should lend some of the empty retail space to the police to set up surveillance and police operations. If they could reduce the incidents of crime in this area the retail space may be more appealing to customers and businesses.

    • Agree. They need some creative solutions here or it will not change.

    • Funny you mention surviellance. A couple weeks ago, my wife went up on our roof to read and saw two plain-clothes police officers up there with binoculars and a camera, “The Wire” style. Not sure what they were looking at/for. This was directly above 14th/Irving looking south.

  • So sad… I was considering buying a really cool condo on Harvard Street. I loved the condo, the proximity to metro and downtown, and the fact that it was so close to retail and restaurants around DCUSA. But I backed out and I’m really glad I did. It’s amazing how a handful of thugs can completely change the image of a promising neighborhood.

  • I used to enjoy shopping at that Target, but waiting for the bus back home has become a bit nervewracking. The area by the bus stop/metro entrance has a really high and bad energy to it lately, people running, yelling, horseplay, throwing things, riding bikes into the crowd. I’m not worried so much about getting mugged as I am about getting knocked to the ground there.

    • I first moved to Columbia Heights in 2013 and then moved to other parts of the city. I definitely think the area around the Metro has gotten A LOT worse in two years. The sidewalk is filthy and bricks need to be replaced. I don’t understand why Brazil — a third-world country — can maintain beautiful Portuguese sidewalks with elegant patterns in tiny stone, but DC developers can’t maintain large square blocks. In addition, there is a lot more loitering than was the case in 2013 and overall filth. Removing the planters has not made the area better, but just makes it look worse and more provisional. Even in the middle of the day I feel uncomfortable walking from Target to the 7-11.

      This area is a disgrace, but frankly DC government — and the National Park Service — does a horrible job maintaining public space throughout the city. This area, though, not only looks bad, but is also objectively dangerous.

      • The trash disgusts the hell out of me. Will contact Nadeau about this.

        • Please send her the link to this post. This is on her watch. All fingers point to her. We are finished.

          • Did she turn you down for a date in the past or what? You’re always on here bashing her and laying old issues at her feet. “We’re finished!” LOL, that’s some nice hyperbole. It’s also incredibly short sighted and stupid. Whey hasn’t she fixed these problems in her first 6 mos in office?!? Shades of Helen Lovejoy shrieking about thinking of the children. Unless of course that’s you Grahamstander?

        • If she isn’t reading this already, she would probably want to, so thanks for doing that. She is my councilmember as well.

  • Another comment regarding this general area.

    A big reason why the area is so unappealing is all of the traffic. If neighbors really wanted crime to decrease and the area around the CHeights Metro to become used by those with pro-social behaviors, they should petition the city to close Irving Street from 14th ST to Hait Pl NW — so the area with the IHOP, Panera, 5 and Below, etc.

    Then the area could be redeveloped as a nice public plaza. Crime would reduce as police could more easily navigate the area on foot.

    • No. I HATE when cities do this, unless there is a very smooth option to go around. Don’t create a grid, then completely close off one or two blocks in the middle of that grid, creating dead ends. There is a ton of that between 14th and 16th in our area and it’s annoying to walk around there, let alone drive.

    • Or crime might increase b/c of the decreased traffic, especially at night.
      I used to live in a city with a traffic-free plaza as the downtown (they closed off the main street to cars for a few blocks), and it was DEAD in the evenings and early mornings. Really creepy to walk through, to the point that I would walk several blocks out of my way to avoid walking there. If through-traffic had been allowed it would have been just fine, even at those times of day.

    • Co-sign. Dedicate a pair of lanes to bus traffic only (I mean better yet, do proper light rail) and divert cars onto 11th and 16th. The area is such a disaster as is; anything is worth trying.

  • The trash, filth and loitering at Columbia Heights metro are a nice slice of America’s developing urban world.

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