A Seriously Disturbing Discussion About Shots Fired Next to an Elementary School Yesterday Afternoon and MPD Response

via google maps

Via the Brookland listserv regarding shots fired around 2:30/3pm Monday afternoon:


“Can I get some more information about the gunfire my husband witnessed on Evarts near 12th and the subsequent getaway via scooter? There were buses and lots of people present for pick up. Thankfully, it appears no one got hurt.

The dispatcher was not interested in my husband’s call, (“It’s already been reported, thanks.”) And the cop cruised by without lights on. NO URGENCY FOR GUN FIRE NEXT TO A SCHOOL??? The school security guard had to jump out and yell at the cops to get their attention and ask if they showed up for the the shooting.

Can I please get some type of explanation or clarification?”

MPD reply:

“At about 230 pm, units from the Fifth District responded to the sounds of gunshots in the area of 12th and Evarts. Units conducted a canvass for shell casings with negative results; however, a witness reported seeing one suspect b/m 20’s white tank top riding a red scooter in the area and possibly involved. A subject matching that description was observed a short time later in the area of 7th and Franklin, but made good his escape from the area without being identified. Noyes Elementary School delayed release for approximately 10 minutes while this matter was being investigated.

At about the same time, School Resources Officers requested assistance for unruly persons at the Brookland Metro. Units responded and 2 arrests were made, 1 juvenile and 1 adult. A red scooter was observed leaving that area as well, but the persons on the scooter were not the persons arrested..

There were no injuries or damage to property reported as a result of this incident.”


“The reports of no damage to property are not accurate. The shots were fired closer to 3:00. The timing is important because buses and parents were already lining the street for dismissal. Also inaccurate, a bullet was found lodged in the rear side of the brand new car of our neighbor (the car was facing rear to the east) and it had a smashed window. Whereas the guy who jumped on the scooter was shooting in the opposite direction (shooting to the west and running east). It seems as though shots were fired from the group of 8 kids who who ran up Franklin, resulting in the bullet(s) in the neighbors car. My husband witnessed the scooter kid (wearing a white t-shirt, not a white tank top) run down the street with the gun out, jump on the red and white scooter driven by another kid, and duck while he drove away across 10th and on the next block of Evarts.

It took the police about 5-10 minutes to show up. No lights. No urgency. The school security guard had to jump out in the street in front of the police car to get it to stop. So perhaps none of the contributing details of the story matter to the “investigation”.

There was a shoot out right in front on my house and at dismissal of an elementary school between two or more individuals. The safety of my family, my neighbors, the Noyes students, their families and the bus staff that was on the street demands that something be done to address this situation. Please advise us on our next steps.

We have multiple shooters outside of a school and it barely commands a casual stop by an officer.”

MPD reply:

“No one called to report damage so I can only report the information as reported by victims. Please advise your neighbor that they should make a report.

It seems that you have very valuable eyewitness information. It is always critical for ‘first person’ eyewitnesses to call immediately so that we can operate and make strategic decisions using the most reliable and thorough information available. We had a sighting on the scooter during that time. Had this information been more punctual I could have used it to weigh in my decision as to whether the officers could chase the vehicle.”


“Then why were there so many police out there last night looking at her car?”


“From my husband regarding the shootings at 12th and Evarts:

I DID call as soon as I saw that the shooter had left. I stated that there was shots fired. I stated that i saw a young man running down the street WITH a gun. I was informed by the dispatch that a call had already been placed. I was asked what did the shooter look like. That was all. Can’t be more “punctual” than immediate. I am surprised that someone didn’t ask me again “how long have you lived here”?
There is a bullet lodged in my neighbors car. There were several police cruisers working that last night. They took pictures of it. Did they not report it? Did you not look to see if there was a report? Speaking of living here, I spoke with my neighbor last night, she stated that in her 53 years of living here, she has not had this level of deadly violence on Evarts.
Do you not believe that shots were fired? Obviously they were, as my neighbors car has a bullet lodged in it. The time to interview was yesterday as the police cruiser slowly approaching the school and was waived down by a bus driver.
I see that your union has placed a vote of “no confidence” in our police chief. I am happy that this is something that needs to take the time of all the MPD. Your internal strife, either real or manufactured, has apparently hindered your ability to discern a true emergency. THERE WAS A SHOOTOUT IN FRONT OF AN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL MINUTES BEFORE DISMISSAL. You guys decide to have a work slowdown to voice your opinions while the citizens who pay your salaries suffer as a consequence? OHOD make you angry enough to ignore a shootout at an elementary school?
If that doesn’t warrant 10 police cruisers with lights and sirens, what does?
Stop blaming the citizens for the violence being perpetrated in their communities when they call upon the MPD to do their sworn duty. Multiple calls were made, they were immediate, some descriptions were made, cruisers were flagged down. What more is possible without the MPD help?
Your replies seem to blame the very people who are calling for your help. This incident is NOT OUR fault. Its not the fault of the 5 year olds that go to school at Noyes. It’s not the fault of their teachers or parents or bus drivers or the people who reside on Evarts.
Whats the next statement, “buy a gun”? Only heard that several times by law enforcement..

FWIW, we’ve had numerous situations with violence and other dangerous activity in our neighborhood over the years. We try to report, but at some point it just gets sickening to hear some of the responses. For example:
– The number of times we have been asked by officers “How long have you lived here? (13 years, but I’m not sure why that matters) Do you know the neighborhood?”: 5 times (maybe 6 but I stopped listening)
– The number of times we have been asked by officers “What did you do to bring this on?” 3 times
– The number of times we have been told by officers to have a gun in the house to protect ourselves: 2 plus one additional time where the officer told use we needed to do “whatever it takes” to protect our family.

In other words the police have given us advice to break the law, eluded to us being outsiders who deserve problems, and tried to incite victim shaming as a reason from criminal behavior in our neighborhood.

I really and truly want to know what we are supposed to do.”

Update from MPD Chief Lanier:

“Good afternoon everyone,

As I am reading the email chain below, I too am concerned. Thank you for including me. Following yesterday’s event we have certainly increased the police presence in this area and will conduct an aggressive follow up.

I am going to follow up with Commander Fitzgerald on our initial response and he is going to send a patrol officer back to the area very shortly to specifically follow up, go door to door and ensure we include and gather any additional information from yesterday’s incident. If you can please send contact information for your neighbor whose car was damaged, we will follow up with him/her directly.

Please rest assured that we, as an agency, take incidents of this nature extremely seriously and are not advocating that you in any way shape or form break the law or don’t deserve fast, expedient and thorough responses from MPD when we are called upon for assistance.

Again, Commander Fitzgerald will contact you shortly.

Cathy L. Lanier
Chief of Police”

100 Comment

  • Oh boy, this is goung to be good…

    • Really don’t know what you’re getting at here, but I can only imagine that you’re some sort of Dr. Claw/Dick Cheney mash-up with your feet up on your desk, a bowl of popcorn, as you laugh at other’s misfortunes/fears.

      • Enough snark, Anahn. I’m not the OP and read this comment more like “oh boy, i can’t wait to see how this dysfunctional police force that tries to act like nothing happened when crimes are committed are going to deal with it.” I like Chief Lanier, but I’ve known way too many people who got righteous indignation (for good reason I ask) and have to deal with the police. Not saying things will always be the same, but people have been dealing with a lax MPD for decades.We are all misfortunate in the sense that not much can be done via email and blog posts.

  • “I really and truly want to know what we are supposed to do.”
    Serious answer: give the cops the pay raises and unlimited overtime they want. Don’t prosecute cops who abuse their authority. And “The Media” needs to stop publishing video and pics that make police look bad.
    There’s a good reason why Scott Walker exempted the cops from his union busting legislation. Connect the dots.

    • “Don’t prosecute cops who abuse their authority.”

      So if a cop stops you, beats you up and steals your stuff, he/she should be exempt from prosecution? Yeah, great idea.

    • Nonsense. You make cops sound like just another gang that we have to pay for protection.

      • It’s a “work slowdown” – cops are doing it across the country. Go look at the front page of the NYTimes today about the big bounce in the murder rate nationwide. Look at the NYPD during the Dinkins Administration (tried to administer oversight –> lots of work slowdowns –> lots of crime) and then how the NYPD flip-flopped for Guiliani (zero oversight, lots of overtime pay –> no slowdowns –> crime was majorly reduced).
        They don’t like to be “disrespected.” Whatever that means.

    • The “good reason” that Scott Walker exempted police from his busting of public unions was craven political advantage – nothing more. The GOP has a longstanding affinity for police, seeing them as the line of the defense interposed between Real ‘Murica and the other masses out there. Plus, if he’d attacked the police union, and they were out there protesting with the rest, what do you think that would have done to the prospects of his legislation? Finally, cops are, by and large, more likely to vote for Republicans than other public union members. This decision had nothing to do with an analysis of what’s best for crime prevention.
      As an aside, efforts to attribute any sort of forethought and principled analysis to Mr. Walker are likely to be in vain, but that’s another discussion.

  • Tsar of Truxton

    Isn’t it standard to arrive at a crime in progress with no lights so as to not alert the criminal that you are showing up?

    • Not when you’re trying to bust your ass with your sirens and lights on trying to get to a situation where there is an active shooter outside of a school. Jesus christ.

      • Tsar of Truxton

        I’m not sure why it should matter. Because bystanders feel safer if the sirens are on? If there is an active shooter, and the most likely possibility of catching that shooter is arriving with some stealth, explain to me why the process should be any different because it is near a school.

        • To get there as fast as safely possible, obviously.
          The police aren’t going to know if there is still an active danger situation, so the idea that there default approach to a shooting scene is “stealth” (in a marked police car) in hopes of sneaking up on a perp is, well, silly.

          • Tsar of Truxton

            First of all, flying through traffic with sirens on is not the safest way to get anywhere and I would bet most police accidents happen doing exactly that. Second, a police car can use a siren to get to a general area of area crime before turning it off for final approach. Third, while you may think it is “silly,” it is an actual tactic used by police forces, so my guess is there is some logical basis for it; that basis of course being that they are more likely to catch the perp. To the person below, there was not an active shooting. People called 911 and told the police that the perp left the scene on a scooter, so at that point, the police are canvassing the area looking for a suspect and while others are processing a crime scene where the shooting happened. If you think canvassing would be more successful at hugh speeds with sirens on, you are crazy. If there was an active shooter, the first step would probably be setting a perimeter and waiting for swat, not just barging in after the shooter.

        • Seriously? Because when there is gunplay near a school (or anywhere, really), the overriding objective is to STOP THE EFFIN’ SHOOTING as quickly as possible. Yes, you want to catch the perpetrator, but above all you want to limit the bullets in the air. If that means the culprit hears the sirens and flees, that’s unfortunate, but infinitely preferable to an extra 10 or so bullets that might kill someone.

          • Oh hyperbole, thy name is DCD. So did an extra 10 or so bullets kill someone, or are you just giving your uneducated two cents on how you think things should be done? I’d rather have the bad guy caught than get away.

          • HaileUnlikely

            Other information presented above suggests that the officers lacked accurate information regarding the nature of the event to which they were responding. People call 911 and say “I think I heard a gun shot” all the time. “I am witnessing people shooting back and forth at each other” is something altogether different. Given my experience with the incompetent and unprofessional doofuses in the Office of Unified Communications, I suspect that message relayed to the responding officers was “sounds of gunfire” (hint: frequently not really gunfire) and that the police were not even informed that “witness sees people shooting.”

          • It’s my two cents – of course no one got killed. I would prefer, in a situation where there is someone actively shooting on a city street, that they stop shooting as soon as possible. If that slightly increases the chance that the shooter gets away, I’m prepared to live with that.

            And stop ripping off Shakespeare – it doesn’t make you seen smart, just like you’re trying to hard.

  • So frustrating and sad – the District is going to start losing concerned residents.

    I’ve been asked the same thing many times by officers responding to my calls over the years near 11th & Park.
    “how long have you been here? do you own a gun? -you should get one because you see how long it takes for us to arrive to protect you. -the stuff I see, I can’t believe anyone would live in this area.” etc…

    • Considering how many police have been shot (across the country) over the past couple weeks, you’d think they wouldn’t be encouraging more guns on the street.

      • They aren’t encouraging “guns in the street”. They are encouraging concerned citizens to arm themselves. Can you understand that distinction? Try.

        • How would someone else being armed have helped in this situation? Let’s say that the man who witnessed everything was armed with a properly-registered handgun. This means that he had 30 minutes of online training and was able to pass a true/false quiz on that training.
          Man sees one person fleeing south on 10th St. firing a gun. He sees a crowd of youths potentially firing additional weapon(s) fleeing north towards and then onto Franklin. Let’s just cover the first three things this man has to consider before “intervening.”
          Step one: Where does he take cover so that he doesn’t get shot while trying to improve the situation? (did you see that question coming?)
          Step two: Who does he aim at (remember, the potential perps are moving in opposite directions)?
          Step three: Will firing cause the situation to cease, or exacerbate it?

      • Police unions and fraternal lobbying organizations have been pretty vocal about being pro-gun control. Especially when it comes to assault weapons, high capacity magazines, hollow points, collapsible stocks, enhanced background checks, etc.
        They have consistently been on the right side on the gun rights debate.

  • I live off of 10th and Evarts, and on Sunday morning at about 4AM my girlfriend and I were awoken to at least 4 gunshots being fired.

    The Noyes basketball court along with the parking lot on the 10th Street side attracts some criminals on the off hours every once in a while, but never heard of something as brazen as this during school hours…

    Cops responses seems really shitty for this one. I’ve had them respond much faster in the past to seeing a group of boys beating up on a group of girls in the Noyes parking lot.

  • While most of this is really unprofessional and obnoxious on the MPD’s part, the part about advising people to buy guns doesn’t strike me as bad. I’m a dirty liberal and I’m considering doing so. If a cop says “Buy a gun because we can’t protect you” that’s crap. But “Buy a gun because it might help protect you in an emergency” is realistic and useful advice, frankly.

    • I would if the process wasn’t so convoluted to purchase one in DC.

    • DC’s gun laws and MPD’s incompetence put the average citizen in a tough spot. Knowing how much the police suck, am I willing to accept the risks and responsibilities associated with having a firearm, even though it’s illegal? I think that for many, the answer is leaning more toward yes and the legality of the decision is a bridge to cross later.

      • You know guns are legal in DC now, right?

      • brookland_rez

        I have a good friend that’s been here since the 1960’s and has seen the worst days of DC. He’s high up in the DC government and he told me once back in the 1980’s that he was going with one of the council members somewhere and the council member on the way out grabbed a gun and shoved it in his pocket. My friend asked him about it and it being illegal and all, and his response was “so is getting killed.” Take that for what it’s worth. The thought has crossed my mind that it’s better to be doing something illegal than being dead.

      • Rifles and shotguns have pretty much always been legal in DC. Handguns are only more recently legal. Concealed carry has recently been made legal too.

  • This is just crazy and totally unacceptable.

  • It sounds like the 911 dispatcher was a big part of the problem. Ugh.

    • Not nearly as dangerous, but reminds me of calling 911 to report a person who almost hit me on Kansas Ave and continued to drive erratically down the street, swerving all over the place at high speed, narrowly missing cars and peds. I had a clear description of the vehicle, location, and direction of travel. “Do you want to make a report?” WTF why do you think I’m calling? This person is about to kill someone. Dispatch does seem to be a problem.

    • Agreed on this. Contact the 5D Commander and ask that this be reviewed by the OUC Liaison Officer. Sounds like critical info did not make it to MPD from the OUC operator (different than the dispatcher – they are two different people). And then whoever was responding to you from MPD in the listerv/email chain made assumptions based on that lack of information.

      • Yes. 5D Commander William Fitzgerald can be reached at (202) 698-0111.

      • These are not honest mistakes. The city is gaming the numbers. There was a shooting near where I live at 8th and Maryland a couple weeks ago. Three people (including myself) saw the actual shooting. We were interviewed by the detective on the scene. The report came out as “property damage”. It said “shots were reported”. Meanwhile they found shell casings, and two cars had busted windows from the bullets. At the public meeting, the representative from the police district said “if we actually had witnesses, we would change how it was classified”

        Someone in the city government is gaming the numbers, and needs to be held accountable.

        • Ugh. This is exactly what they did with the playground shooting in Columbia Heights. There were witnesses to the actual shooting, shell casings found, and damage from bullets hitting vehicles and was reported as “property damage” and “sounds of gunshots.” This seems like a way to avoid classifying shootings as violent crimes…

          • brookland_rez

            I still think it used to be a lot worse. Statistics show that 10 years ago it was much worse. As someone that was here then, I had stray bullets hit my car one night on Lincoln Rd and R St. I checked the crime reports the next day and nothing. A lot of crime back then went completely unreported.
            Having said that, the recent up tick is unacceptable. We’ve made so much progress in the last 10 years, any up tick should be addressed. I’m disappointed with MPD, the mayor, and police chief, and their responses. 10 years ago these responses were accepted and tolerated, but I think there’s a critical mass of people in DC now that won’t tolerate this anymore. I honestly think it’s time to gentrify DC politics and the police force. The old regime needs to go, and fresh blood that will actually hold criminals accountable and actually police instead of sit in cars and drive around with blue lights on and only respond to calls.

          • brookland_rez

            Also, while I don’t blame anyone for leaving DC due to personal safety reasons, I would still rather stay and join with my neighbors and push for better politicians and police and make things better.

        • This wouldn’t surprise me at all.

        • HaileUnlikely

          The city may well be gaming the numbers, but aside from whether the city is also gaming the numbers, I think there is reason to believe that there is an enormous problem with the competence and professionalism of at least some of the staff of the Office of Unified Communications. If the mechanism by which calls to 911 result in timely dispatches of informed officers is broken, that is a problem in desperate need of fixing, even if there are also other problems elsewhere.

        • …..but I thought everyone loves increasing property value$?!?!
          Of course they are gaming the numbers. A whole lot of money rests on the fact that people of a certain economic class “perceive” that an area is safe and are willing to bid up real estate. It’s a merry-go-round.

    • The Office of Unified Communications is a HUGE problem in DC. Their director resigned this summer and I don’t think they have someone new in charge yet. MPD is far from perfect under the best of circumstances, but if they aren’t getting good information from dispatchers it’s even worse. Earlier this year I had the frustrating experience of getting several minutes of hold message when calling about the sounds of gunshots. I was in a location where I couldn’t see if anyone had been hit (and was scared to get closer!) and was so worried someone was going to bleed to death while I sat on hold.

    • burritosinstereo

      The one and only time I have ever called to report shots fired, I was put on hold. I could NOT BELIEVE it. I said “I just heard nine gunshots” and her response was “HOLD PLEASE”

      • The operator might have been on the line already with someone who called a few secodns before you to report hearing 9 gunshots

    • 911 DIspatchers in DC are atrocious. I’ve called at least 3 times over the years and the wait was inordinate and service was sub par.

  • If shots were fired outside any suburban school in America, the school would be in lockdown until the swat team declared the all clear. In Brookland, DC, they delay release for 10 minutes. Just another day at school.

    • Frustrating and sad, indeed. Just curious, I may be missing something…but I’m confused as to why cops are always asking “how long have you lived here?” What good is that information to a cop after a crime has been reported?

      • oops, didn’t mean to respond to your comment.

      • Yep, because if you’ve lived here over (insert qualifying # of years) you should just expect it and stop complaining?

      • I’ve heard this from cops too. What they’re trying to imply by asking “how long have you lived here?” is basically that you should’ve known what you’re getting yourself into by moving into a particular area. More or less what they’re trying to say is that this stuff happens all the time and you should just accept it rather than expect the cops to take it seriously. At least that’s how I’ve interpreted it.

        It is a major problem when the cops all live out in the suburbs and don’t sympathize with people in the community.

      • Ally

        Giving them the benefit of the doubt, it could be possible that they’re simply asking so that, if you’re new to the area, they can tell you about known problem areas/times to avoid. I’ve had police do that with me onto to find out that I’ve been in my neighborhood for 10 years, at which point they’d apologize and say that I likely knew that info already.

        • They will rue the day they ask me that question. 10 years and I’ve heard gunshots, for the first two times ever, in just the last 3 months. 9 years 7 months of nothing and then twice in three months. “What should I expect?” I dunno, how about what I’d been living with for those 9 years and 7 months…the occasional (but declining) burglary/attempt, sporadic fights between known imbeciles which never involved anything more dangerous than a screwdriver because, while they may be idiots, they know how to stay out of jail (no guns no knives), and too-loud music once a month. I could live with those things.

    • +10000000000

      Yeah, give Noyes elementary school demographics 40% white people, and this shit would have been CNN Breaking News.

  • Move. Seriously that is what we are considering after almost 20 years in the City. The crime wave coming back this strong, with no clear answers, not letting up even though school has started, a Mayor who is beyond clueless, a disgruntled police force, a police chief who is probably long overdue to move on, and a council that seems to care about ONLY the following items 1) inducing as many homeless families to move to District from across the MD/VA in order to get free housing costing the District over 40 million and counting 2) making sure convicted felons aren’t “discriminated” against during job hiring and 3) building and concentrating as much low income housing as possible in certain neighborhoods. I am not alone, I have talked with several petworth neigbhrohoods, the crime wave combined with shitty schools and no change to get into better ones has more than a few people ready to move now that we have kids. I guess shoots outs in the middle of the day is the straw that finally broke the back.

    • To be fair, there needs to be a way felons can get jobs, or even the ones who want to live a law-abiding life won’t be able to do it. Not sure specifically what process you are referencing, and not trying to be annoyingly nitpicky.

      That said, agree with your points overall. The crime wave is very disturbing.

      • I don’t think your response is “annoyingly nitpicky.” Say what started out by saying that the crime waves and city responses have been woefully inadequate to the point that moving is under consideration. But then they threw in not wanting felons to have access to jobs among other unsubstantiated claims (reference for inducing homeless families to come here when DC already has a tremendous family homelessness problem?) and I was like… what? “See ya” is right in this case.

        • I think they’re referencing this: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc-politics/dc-dramatically-expands-services-for-homeless-families/2015/08/31/0e69223e-4f83-11e5-933e-7d06c647a395_story.html.
          The end of that story seems to imply the new policies are increasing the number of families seeking shelter in the District.

          • Thanks! Can’t say I agree with the interpretation but then I am very happy to see the city is trying to do something about family homelessness. It impacts everything, including crime. Kids who don’t have stable housing have a much harder time participating in their education, for example.

          • of course DC needs to address homelessness but the current policy is so misguided. Also, when neighborhing jurisdictions start advising homeless families to get into the District for free housing they are simply moving the problem onto DC tax payers instead of working collectively to solve the problem. MD and VA do NOT have mandatory homless polices, so its very convenient for them to address their issues by moving them into DC. DC also pays for motels outside of the City and once they move a family in, they generally do not move them out even when the law states they are not entitled to housing when the temp is above a certain level. So in a nutshell, DC is paying for hotels in PG County, for PG homeless families who made their way into the Distrcit, now qualify for free shelter and are sent back into PG County but paid for by DC. tell me again how this is a good policy or use of resources or actually is a long term solution???

          • The problem with the homeless is that they don’t actually live anywhere. What does it mean for a homeless person to “belong” to PG county vs. DC? I agree with you that it would be way better if our neighbors pitched in toward the homeless problem, but I don’t think sorting out who owes what for which homeless person is as easy as you seem to think, and I’m glad someone is doing something about it.

      • I think this is in response to the DC Council’s “Ban the Box” bill which prohibits employers from requiring applicants to disclose if they were arrested (usually a check box). Similar legislation is moving in other major cities as a potential solution to help reintegrate offenders into society via employment opportunities.

        • west_egg

          This is correct. And to be clear — employers aren’t forced to hire felons. It’s just that you’re not allowed to ask the question on the application, meaning you need to actually take a look at someone and talk to them rather than disqualify a person off the bat because of a conviction. In other words, judge people on their merits as opposed to a bad decision they made X years ago. If it comes up during the interview or on a background check you can still disqualify the candidate. (Someone please correct me if I’m wrong.)

    • Agree with many of your points

    • LisaT

      We don’t have kids and don’t plan to, and I agree with you. We would love to move out of Brightwood Park. I’m ready for the burbs, some peace and quiet, nobody peeing up against my house, my car windows not getting shot out, hearing shots so often you think “oh there it goes again,” the year-round fireworks, murders on the corner, drugged out zombies wandering around at all hours. It’s just not worth it.

    • sanctuary city

  • 5-10 mins is quick response. Unless they were parked around the corner they have to drive from somewhere

  • Let me get this straight: Officers responded to the call within 10 minutes and used the description (guy in white top on red scooter) to look for the suspect, who escaped. After an initial canvas of the area, they didn’t find any bullet casings. Later, detectives investigated a car in the area which had been hit by a bullet. The MPD rep transcribed in this article clearly didn’t have information from the detectives’ report when talking to the resident, however the police department did come investigate the car. So what did they do wrong here?

    • The point–which seems pretty obvious–is the process isn’t working. Perhaps it is the 911 operator’s fault, but it’s time to re-examine how information is conveyed, especially when a shoot-out in front of a school is underway.

      • How is the process not working in this case? The police responded quickly and investigated the incident in greater detail afterward. They were unable to apprehend the suspect this time, but they now have info on file to cross reference with past and future cases. They literally did their job.

      • Leslie you hit the nail on the head. We can all debate this til the cows come home, but at the end of the day, the current process isn’t working. It’s that simple. Whatever the mayor and MPD chief are doing has backfired. Crime has gotten worse under Bowser. I don’t pretend to have answers, but I know I don’t feel safe in Ward 4 and the status quo isn’t acceptable. Don’t get my started in the schools.

    • “Officers responded to the call within 10 minutes” (with little purpose and energy. Apparently, the cruiser had to be pulled over by the security guard at the school because there was worry the police were passing by and weren’t going to stop) and used the description (guy in white top on red scooter) to look for the suspect (a description they did not endeavor to get from the man on the phone who had seen the event unfold in front of him and whom they never interviewed), who escaped. After an initial canvas of the area, they didn’t find any bullet casings. (Though there was a bullet lodged in a a car. A car with a blown out back window.) Later, detectives investigated a car in the area which had been hit by a bullet. (But the department apparently didn’t know this as they told the poster that there had been no notification/reports of property damage). The MPD rep transcribed in this article clearly didn’t have information from the detectives’ report when talking to the resident, (and didn’t seem interested in any details of the situation but instead seemed to want to dismiss the citizen’s concerns and input). However the police department did come investigate the car. (Unbeknownst to the actual police.)

      • The dispatcher *did* ask the caller to describe the suspect (read the resident’s transcript of his/her husband). The dispatcher’s job is not to interview witnesses, but rather to relay calls for service. The detective’s job is to interview witnesses and investigate tthe crime scene after the fact. If the caller had relevant information and saw detectives at the scene later, why didn’t he go talk to them? Also, someone apparently did report the blown out window to police (or they found it in the initial sweep), since the detectives knew about it in the first place. The only issue I see with this case is the lack of information trickling from the detectives to the MPD representative, but that may be due to different reporting procedures followed by detectives vs patrol.

        • It still sounds as though this is a case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing — the OP’s husband gave the OUC (911) rep a description of the suspect, but that description apparently never made its way to MPD (or at least not to the right people).

      • justinbc

        “Apparently, the cruiser had to be pulled over by the security guard at the school because there was worry the police were passing by and weren’t going to stop)”
        This is presumptive though, right? The cops were in the right area, what makes the assessment that they weren’t going to stop at all valid? It seems like confirmation bias.

    • What is wrong here is that there was a **school shooting** and witnesses report that the MPD were contradictory and slow. A 10 min lockdown for a multiple shot event? Where it took 10 min for cops to show and the guard had to catch the ONE patrol car? (were the kids already out again by then? do we not care about elementary kids anymore?) Where we hear that the suspected shooter (or at least the vehicle) was then seen a few blocks away and the only response the community gets is to blame the witnesses for not calling soon enough? We call and call. Some neighbors have chased thieves for blocks on foot after break-ins. The neighbors seem to be the only ones who care – the MPD seems to have written this off as a bad neighborhood. Which it is not and need not be. But if they continue to ignore what they are told, be slow to show up, discourage the neighbors from calling in., then there is something wrong! We don’t care if it’s dispatcher A or dispatcher B or if the union is mad at the chief or if there is a work slowdown or if the witness was new to the neighborhood or not. Shootings at a school, folks. It’d be nice if MPD could pretend to care.

      • Who decided on the 10 min lockdown? MPD, or the school? Not meaning to snark, but curious.

        It took 5-10 mins for the police to show – I think this is a quick response. becuase had to get there from somewhere else. Quick or slow, different views.
        As someone posted, the guard did not know (and neither do we) the intention of the patrol car driver thus whether or not it was required for the guard to “stop” the patrol car

  • I would do two things to address the lack of response. Contact Councilmember McDuffie’s office about the 911 operator (this is not managed by MPD) as well as the MPD response. I would start with his Constituent Services Coordinators Laisha Dougherty [email protected] and Wesley Dawson [email protected] and CC the Councilmember [email protected].

    Second I would reach out to the Commander of the 5th District and his officer’s response both in person and on the listserv. He is the highest ranking MPD official overseeing this area. Chief Lanier requires that they have their phone number publicly available for residents to be able to talk to them. Commander William Fitzgerald can be reached at (202) 698-0111.

  • Prince Of Petworth

    Update from the listserve:

    “There were also at least three shots fired on Saturday August 22nd at 8th and Monroe NE around 9:30P where a large group convened at Dance Place. There were a number of patrons eating outside of Brookland Pint that had to run for cover.

    A 911 call was made, but it took time for police to show up. By the time they did most of the group had disbursed. I didn’t see any record of the police response noted in the MPD 5D report, nor did I get any details when I followed up with the police a few days later regarding details.

    This is becoming way too routine in the area.”

    • I appreciate the coverage. Any change you can promote some solutions or contact info out of the comments? There are PSA meetings, CAC meetings, MPD District level meetings, ANC and Council members, Council oversight committees. I tweeted at CM McDuffie’s office asking them if they can come join this.

  • And people wonder why we’ve lost faith in our city to combat crime. In Petworth, we found a mask and gloves ditched in our bushes after a cab was robbed in front of our house. Called MPD three times to come get the evidence. After multiple promises to come, no one ever showed up. I’ve about had it with this city from the mayor on down.

    • You are not the only one. I had to email very senior members of the MPD to get detectives to come and interview me , a *week* after I was mugged at gunpoint. The detectives weren’t interested in speaking to me so I called a friend who was connected and within 2 hours of the call I had detectives at my home. A week later!

  • burritosinstereo

    I live at 12th & Evarts, and I had no idea about any of this until just now!

    Oddly enough, just yesterday when I got home from work (around 5:30) I posted a pic on instagram of the two bullet holes in the window of my neighbor (the bakery on the corner). The holes been there for AT LEAST a month and one has cause a huge crack in the window, and the owners just seem to be completely ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ about it. *insert rant about broken windows theory*

  • Speaking as a Trinidad resident, this particular block is particularly dicey. Man, this market is out of control.

  • And people did not want to vote for Catania because he is not nice or such, but I suspect more impactful efforts would have been made by him.

  • There’s a red and white scooter parked at the corner of 8th and Emerson right now (no joke).

    • I saw a guy riding this scooter through Sherman Circle on my way home from work yesterday (Monday). White tank top, long dreads, 20’s…

  • I called MPD a few months ago to ask advice about the fact my neighbor was smoking meth and just to ask what I should look out for that would be signs he was cooking it too, etc, as that is a danger to my family due to risk of fire, explosion etc. I was LITERALLY told by MPD that people used to think pot was bad and now they don’t, and I really should just not worry about it. FOR METH. I clarified I understand they cannot do anything about the situation I just wanted advice on how to determine if things are escalating and I need to move my family out (ie cooking – what signs would there be, etc). I just wanted simple basic advice and was told I should learn to be okay with the possibility my neighbor is cooking meth because marijuana used to be considered bad in the past too and now its not. I was so shocked I just hung up.

  • I love this city and protecting it is my objective and desire. There is no work stoppage or even talk of slowing our (MPD) response. Often with sounds of gunshots calls, there is no caller to interview and most reports are for the sounds. When there is a description given it can be difficult to discern if the person seen fleeing is a victim, suspect or bystander that is running away. We appreciate the caller who did provide a detailed description and information that was informative. Officers may have given chase while arriving and that may have lead to only one vehicle being seen in the block. Please do not think that your neighborhood shootings are not investigated or of concern. When there is no victim that has been shot or an attempt in a person who is willing to be a complainant or property damage then there is an incident report made not an offense report. Though the unlawful discharge of a firearm is a crime. When there is only the sound of gunshots but no casings or damage then resources may not need to be delegated to an investigation. We work hard for so much criticism. Crimes in cities go in a cycle, this is just the bad part but will get better.

    • justinbc

      I agree with much of your assessment. People tend to frame situations in ways that confirm their already biased opinion on the status of operations. So if you think police are lazy and only see one patrol car in the area you automatically assume that must be the only one, completely ignoring that you obviously can’t see the entire area.

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