Multiple Reports of Shots Fired in Franklin Square Park around 5:15pm Wednesday

14th and K St, NW

I got tons of reports on twitter yesterday afternoon about shots fired in Franklin Square Park (follow @PoPville to get the alerts immediately, apologies for the delay in posting I was away from the computer at the time.) Reports starting coming in at 5:18pm:

“Just heard 3 gunshots in Franklin square and watched someone sprint away.”

“think i just heard four gunshots in downtown dc? 14th and K?”

“I heard them too, and everyone on the street froze and freaked out. Hearing sirens now”

“there are police and two shells on the ground on k between 13th and 14th.”

“I was at traffic light at 14th/K, SE side of intersection when I heard it, everyone ran like mad for safety.Hope everyone is safe.”

The Washington Post reported:

“No one was injured, and D.C. police said it appears nothing was struck but the investigation was continuing.”

33 Comment

  • I walked through the park very shortly after this happened. I had no idea anything had happened but the place was swarming with cops, several of them searching the grounds apparently looking for bullets. I overheard one of them say that somebody had fired shots into the air.

  • I was walking through the park at 5:30 and saw multiple cops on the K street side of the park, figured something was up…this explains it. Side note this park is an absolute disaster….I walked through it the other day around 5:30 and it felt like a third world country complete with every trash can overfilled and overflowing and homeless/loiters everywhere. Something needs to be done.

    • There’ve been plans in various stages for years for improving this park and the old Franklin School, formerly a homeless shelter I believe. It’d be nice if these kinds of improvements in the center of our city didn’t take a decade or more to get done. That’s a tired argument, I know, but I’m feeling cranky.

      • I get that helping the homeless is good but iv frequently seen events there and the people who donate the food have no responsibility to clean up after themselves or the people who are getting the food….the government certainly is not going to deal with it in a timely manner

    • It’s starting to look like how it was in the early 1990s.

    • Re Third World Country – I was in Hoi An, Vietnam this year, and was stunned by how clean it was. Although a small touristy historic area, it was remarkable.

  • Something has to be done with this park. I walk through it twice a day, every day, and though it’s never been great, it’s an absolute disaster zone these days. Not to mention the fact that it’s practically an open air drug market. I feel bad for the city employees assigned to watch over the tables/chairs that they’ve set up in the middle.

    • They are thoroughly rebuilding it in the next year or two

      • I’m sure I’ll get push-back for saying this, and I know I’m supposed to be a good liberal, but I don’t think anything will change so long the park has a large homeless population. I walk though there to go to the food trucks fairly regularly and the state of the place is just disgusting.

        • Walked by recently about mid-day on the L St. sidewalk and some guy was squatting with his back against a tree, facing the sidewalk and L St, just a few feet into the park, with his pants around his ankles grunting and taking a dump. [insert poop emoji here].

    • I echo this. I will completely avoid walking through if it gets too dark on my way home from work. I will not even walk on a bordering sidewalk. It’s a sad state of affairs in many respects.

  • It’s amazing to me that someone could fire a gun, in broad daylight, during the evening rush hour on a weekday, in a park in the middle of the business district, and somehow not get apprehended. And that park is basically a total dumpster fire, day and night.

  • It was only a matter of time until something like this happened. Every day I walk through that park from work it’s an open drug market…. visible trade-offs and use. With effectively zero police presence, the dealers and users are brazen. Maybe, I don’t know, park police could do their job?

    • I’ve worked next to this part for over ten years, and have never seen any drug dealing. Homeless presence, rats, trash, — yes — along side office workers having their lunch on benches as well. It’s hardly as bleak as you make it out to be, City Center.

      • @french streeter take a look at the people sitting on the benches near the corner of 14th and K around 5PM. I’ve seen hand-offs and open displays of drugs to be reapportioned for a buy. It’s almost laughable how little resistance these guys get since it’s not DC property.

        I’ve been walking through the park for the better part of 6 years to get to and from work. It wasn’t until earlier this year that it started to really spiral.

      • Yeah, I work on the next block and see drug deals at least 1 out of every 3 times I walk through there during broad daylight. I don’t think it was an irrational statement.

      • +1

        I lunch in the park twice a week, and have for the last 9 years. Haven’t seen a problem like the ones described.

        For those of you who say that you’ve seen drug use and/or handoffs: are you calling the police?

        • I called the police to report a drug deal involving several large wrapped bails (like what you see on The Wire). I gave a description of the people and vehicles. No police showed up.

    • Completely agree. The drug dealing and using in this park is quite brazen.

  • I was there. it was really scary. People dashed behind trees, ran, wherever to get away. But the scariest part to me was that some people just kept walking and acting like it didn’t happen. Is that a normal reaction when you hear gun shots? I’m worried what could happen if someone with really horrible intents did something similar and no one reacted.

    • I think they probably assumed it was something else, car backfiring or something. I mean, broad daylight in the middle of a busy area downtown. Gun fire isn’t the first thing I would suspect.

      • Probably, I am a very anxious person and every since mass shootings started dominating the news have had a fear of dying in one, so for me that was immediately where my brain went.

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