“I saw the passenger point a black gun out the window straight at me, then up into the air and fire”

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A reader reports around midnight:

“My husband, two neighbors, and I were outside shoveling our sidewalks around 11:30 pm on the 200 block of Webster NW. We heard a car with loud music coming slowly towards us and we stopped to look at who would be crazy enough to be riding around in this. We heard a loud pop go off, then another pop as the car passed by my neighbor. As the car rolled towards my husband and me, I saw the passenger point a black gun out the window straight at me, then up into the air and fire. The car just kept rolling down Webster and fired 4 more consecutive shots around the 400 block of Webster. My neighbor said the guy had pointed the gun straight at him too before pointing it up in the air to fire. We were no more than a car length away from the car when he pointed the gun straight at us. Needless to say, we were all in total shock and disbelief that these guys were riding around terrorizing people like this. We called the police and they came by to get out info. All anyone of us saw was that it was a white or silver newer model jeep with a thumping sound system and extremely bright, almost blue, headlights. I know that’s not much, but between the blizzard and the gun pointed at us, we didn’t see much else.

Please let the neighborhood know that this is happening. We were totally caught off guard and didn’t even have time to react until the guy already had the gun pointed straight at us. Hopefully they’ll catch these guys before they seriously injure or kill someone.”

62 Comment

  • I heard this, but assumed I was mistaken they were shots because they came regularly and it was a blizzard out. I was two blocks away on my porch looking at the snow. Glad no one was hurt.

  • I am so sorry that you experienced this. As the PSA manger for this area, I feel anger and disgust toward the insensitive morons who committed this act. Please excuse my less than political response.

    I have put patrol plans in place in an attempt to prevent a repeat of this occurance. I will provide the officers in this are with the description you have provided.

    During this snow storm, you should see at least one Army National guard humvee patrolling your area. There will be an mpd officer inside of it along with two National Guardsmen.

    Again, I humbly apologize that you had to experience this. Although it is difficult to predict these sort of random acts, I assure you that we are out here and have not skirted our responsibly to prevent crime and the fear of crime because of the snow.

    If you call, we are coming!

    Lt. Washington

    • I think this kind of response is very constructive. I know you risk a pile on from people, but some kind of acknowledgement from the city that there is a problem and that they are working on it goes a long way.

    • Thanks for monitoring this and responding here- much appreciated!

    • “insensitive morons who committed this act”

      Insensitive? My wife is insensitive when she snaps at me for not doing the dishes while I’m cleaning up a mess our dog made.

      Morons? That’s my mechanic who cut the brake line on my car when trying to install the brake pad and then tried to charge me double.

      Act? That’s part of a play on broadway.

      THESE ARE CRIMINALS. THEY ARE PROBABLY GOING TO KILL SOMEONE.

      I’m really hoping this isn’t the real Lt. Washington responding.

      • They are CRIMINALS! That goes without saying! The adjectives I used were the best way to describe my person frustrations. By no means do I want you to think I’m sprinkling glitter on this heinous act committed by brazen criminals!

      • Geez please stop ANon and get a grip.

        • Lt Washington is great. I reached out to him about an increase in drug activity near our daycare and he took action immediately and continues to do so. Petworth is very lucky to have you Lt Washington – you have our support and appreciation for all you do.

      • This is an absolutely unnecessary comment. It’s nice to see that Lt. Washington is responding to such comments. I, as others have said as well, appreciate the acknowledgment of this event. Obviously he knows they are criminals. His response is welcomed and appreciated. Thank you Lt and please do everything you can to help Petworth minimize these random shootings. We are very fed up and frustrated and really hope you aggressively tackle the issue.

        • Should have just gone with this first and not the all caps hysterics..people will take you much more seriously.

      • Really dude… Your upset by his comments? I swear people in this town have nothing better to do! Thanks Lt. Washington for all your efforts!

    • Thanks for the response Lt. Washington. Hope you catch these guys.

  • With how few cars were on the road at that time, how were they not caught?

  • I saw a nice new jeep with loud music parked at the 4500 block of Illinois last night, riders went in and out of a house there.

  • Lt. Washington – did you see posts about vehicle location? Any update?

    • I just called 911 with the new information. The dispatcher had no idea what I was referring to because “a report hadn’t been filed yet” even though two officers came out last night and told both my neighbor and me that a report would be filed. . .apparently 12 hours isn’t enough time for them to do that! What angers me the most about this is how safe these guys felt rolling down at least 5-6 blocks firing the whole way. They were not one bit scared of a cop seeing them. They were obviously well aware that no one was out there to protect us. Still in shock. . .we were just trying to shovel our sidewalks.

    • Just made it to work. There should be a unit in the block checking for it now.

      • Thank you so much Lt. Washington. An officer came to my house this morning to start the report. She too seemed to think it was odd that the officers from last night hadn’t made a report yet. She said that, since they weren’t able to do a full investigation (look for casings, etc) she’d have to file it as only “gun shots heard.” When I asked about the car on the 4500 block of Illinois, she said that a detective would have to go investigate. Then someone on her radio notified her to go check out the car on Illinois, which she said she’d go do right then. Thanks to all the neighbors who posted. It really is a huge help.

        • And you wonder why people could be upset with Lt Washington’s response above…it’s all lip service…anyways I hope the police catch the “insensitive morons” shooting guns in the middle of street. What dumb dumbs naughty boys…so naughty!

  • I heard what sounded like gunshots at about 10 – pop, pop, poppoppop. Later, I think I heard the shots referenced here.

  • Is it possible to ask to get the video from the apartment complex on Webster where 2nd forms the T into Webster? I noticed the other day that they have what appears to be a nice camera pointed east on Webster. My wife also called in the shots.

  • We have called the cops. They came over last night. We tried to call the station just now to report the sighting of a jeep at 4500 Illinois area and the officer who answered the phone said the police officers who came over last night did not file a report and she didn’t know what we were referring to.

    Can anyone please take down the jeep’s license plate number?

    • The mayor was just commenting on how all 300 911 calls were responded to last night. Sounds like this one slipped through the cracks. Lovely.

      • They came over last night. But apparently they didn’t file a report as of this morning.

      • We also called. OUC wasn’t in a rush to do anything. I kept telling her, “the white SUV is still driving down Webster. Stop talking to me and go dispatch a patrol car. You can literally just follow the tire tracks.” Her response was to ask me the same 5 questions 4 more times. She really didnt understand that she didnt need my address — that i was trying to tell her where the car was heading.

        I’m sure Lt. Washington’s team takes this seriously, but they really cant do as much when the OUC is so incompetent. I expect MPD will never catch these guys.

      • Yup, just this one. What a coininkydink!

  • We heard shots around 10:35 in the 3800 block of Kansas, sounded like it was coming from a N NE direction. Wonder if it was the same vehicle. Sorry to hear about your experience. So frustrating to hear about it. Lt. Washington omitted one or two caveats – if you call (and OUC correctly dispatches) we are coming (eventually). Stay safe everyone.

  • I just rode through in the police suv. I have the tag number and will have the vehicle investigated further.

  • but DC has the best gun control laws. How could this be?!

    Oh right, they’re criminals ..

  • I heard a number of very loud pops I thought were maybe fireworks at right around this time last night – Webster & Georgia – scary when a lot of people are out to have fun!

  • I hate to even suggest this, but is there any way for Popville to verify that someone isn’t posing as a police officer or emergency responder, etc, when comments are made in this forum? I think it’s great that Lt. Washington is monitoring this blog, but I wonder if others can’t take advantage of this and misrepresent officials with little or no consequence…

  • Per Petworth list serve, there was a shooting at 11:30PM on the 4500 block of Illinois on (I think) Thursday; victim was shoveling snow and shot in leg. Unclear it related more than by proximity or activity, but strange coincidence if not.

    • We received a call for sounds of gunshots around 1158 AM in the 4500 blk of Illinois Ave NW. Officers responded and located one victim shot in leg. The victim reports he was shoveling snow when a lone black male wearing all dark clothing approached and began shooting.

      • Lt. Washington, did you work in the 1400 block of Monroe Street in 1999/2000? If it’s you, warm greetings from the distant past. He was just as engaging with us as we struggled back then with similar problems.

      • Friday around 730 PM shots fired on the one hundred block of Webster too. Don’t know if it was reported. I was putting the kids to bed and thought it was our fireplace popping – ran downstairs to make sure there wasn’t a fire. Didn’t think of it till a neighbor mentioned the next day. They said it came from a moving vehicle.

  • The last time I called 911 it went something like this:

    “Hi, two men are in the alley fighting. This is the location and what they look like. Please hurry.”

    “Could you describe them?”

    “[Describes again]”

    “What is the nature of the problem?”

    “Fighting.”

    “How many are there?”

    “Two.”

    “What is your name?”

    “Don’t want to say.”

    “Ok. Well what is the location again?”

    “[Says location again].”

    “What color is the vehicle?”

    “THERE IS NO VEHICLE. THERE ARE TWO MEN FIGHTING IN THE ALLEY AT [LOCATION] RIGHT NOW. PLEASE SEND POLICE.”

    “What is your name?”

    *CLICK*

  • I heard it to. I thought oh gunshots, then went back to sleep. Funny it’s only taken 18months to be completely desensitised to violent crime and guns. Very sad comment on the most powerful country in the world.

    • So 18 months ago YOU decided of all the places to live in huge metro area to move into Petworth – a neighborhood admittedly well located and with nice housing – but also very well known for gunshots and violence. Now, 18 months later YOU are desensitized to violent crime and guns and this is a sad comment on a nation that spans nearly 4 million square miles and has over 300 million residents? Ok pal, whatever.

      • Actually, Petworth is a great neighbourhood and is arguably known more for its community and all the work both residents and business owners have done to make it the vibrant welcoming place it is. Besides DC doesn’t even make it into the top 10 US cities for violent crime. It used to astound me that there were 3 times as many shootings last year in a city of 600000 than in the nation I’m from with a population of 70 million people. And yet angry young men, the mentally ill, etc have ready access to guns but I can’t take my dog to a bar because it poses a risk to health. It no longer astounds me

  • When I was home from Iraq on leave, a transformer blew up on the pole right outside our bedroom window. I said to my wife “that one was close” and went back to bed. It’s amazing what you can get used to.

  • The Jeep in question was a white/beige late model Jeep Wrangler. I placed a 911 call at 11:30 p.m. on January 22. I am the “other” neighbor who stared into the muzzle of that gun. It was pointed and fired from the front passenger side of the suspect vehicle while it slowly traveled west on the 100 block of Webster St (apparently turned onto Webster St from Rock Creek Church Rd). As it got into the 200 block of Webster St, The passenger rolled down the window, pointed the gun at me, then fired into the air. I heard about 3 additional “clicks” of the trigger. The gun wouldn’t fire. But, as the vehicle proceeded to the area where my neighbor was, the gun fired again. The vehicle continued slowly westbound on Webster. We later heard several successive gunshots either in the 300 or 400 blocks of Webster. The first responding officer arrived approximately 10 mins later and wrote my info into a note pad. Another officer arrived, all driving Ford Explorers. The first officer initially “radioed” a lookout for a silver jeep. I never reported the Jeep as Silver. I informed him of the mistake, and he corrected his initial broadcast. The 2nd officer later told us to have a safe night and both officers proceeded westbound on Webster. A few moments later, they were joined by a member of MPD driving a Ford Expedition. I hope these individuals who were in that vehicle are caught. I pray they didn’t do anyone else harm. I prayed a lot that night. And through this unbelievable experience, I am glad God was watching over me and my neighbor that night! I’m thankful that the gunman didn’t pull the trigger at the time he pointed the gun at us!

    • Thank you for your post. Just to clarify, the vehicle was more tan in color? All I’ve been getting from bloggers is a silver jeep. We will continue to be on the look out for both silver and tan jeeps in the area.

  • No one calls cops because the non-emergency line is as rude as it gets, it seems like it’s a mandatory qualification to treat each caller with complete disdain….. The mayor should listen to a few of the phone calls for fun.

  • I heard this as well, but because of the blizzard i thought it was some goofballs celebrating with fireworks! holy crap this is disturbing!

  • I didn’t realize the location of this post- I heard four gun shots at 11:10pm that night from Monroe & 18th st NE. Then another more distantly a minute or two later.

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