86°Mostly Cloudy

Good News and Bad News on 14th St, NW

by Prince Of Petworth February 4, 2010 at 10:23 am 27 Comments

View Larger Map

Props go out to MPD for a gun recovery:

“This evening (Wed.) around 9:30 pm the Third District Robbery Tac Unit observed an armed gunman in the 1400 block of Fairmont St., NW.

After a brief foot pursuit the officers apprehended the gunman and recovered was a high powered weapon with several rounds of ammunition.”

Sadly there was also a homicide a few blocks away. From CM Jim Graham:

“Last night a domestic confrontation tragically led to a death within an apartment at Columbia Heights Village on the 2800 block of 14th St. It was a fight between two adult males reportedly within the apt. No gunshots were fired, and I am told no firearms were involved. MPD is not prepared at this moment to release the cause of death. The incident is now under active investigation.”

  • Jamie Leeds

    I live on Fairmont with my 6 year old son. The more of these stories I hear about, the more I want to move. When will it end?

  • Anonymous

    Don’t leave Jamie!! We just need to keep pushing for better police, better schools and less concentration of housing projects.

    Maybe they should move a few of those subsidized housing projects to Ward 3 or Georgetown. :-)

    • Marq

      Or out of DC altogether!

  • Anonymous

    It’s amazing that a the capture of a gunman with a “high powered weapon” is good news because he got caught.

    It’s like saying its good news my AIDS test came back positive because at least now I know.

    The problem is not lack of police. It’s a culture of self-serving ignorance and glorification of violence. And Im not referring to rap videos – I’m talking about John Wayne.

  • Tortreform

    Uh… yeah… John Wayne’s old westerns really ARE behind all the gang related violence in DC.

    • Anonymous

      The certaily are among the foundations of a culture centered around favoratism of solving problems through violence over intelligence. Certainly no one can accuse John Wayne of being a ratioal problem solver for a civil society. But of course it’s more convenient to distance yourself by saying only rap videos promote violence.

      • Bitter Elitist

        THEN: Jesse James + John Dillinger et al + Jimmy Cagney +John Wayne + Clint Eastwood+Godfather+Scarface

        TODAY: rap videos

        American culture is violent and glorifies the gun. and I’m NOT anti-gun.

  • Anonymous

    Have to agree with Anon @ 10:55 about the appropriateness of calling this “good” news. Sure, it’s good that they caught the guy, but the fact remains that he was walking around a densely populated residential area with a high-powered gun and lots of ammo. The good news will be when he is convicted and sentenced to a long period of incarceration. I’m not holding my breath while I wait to hear that.

  • Dirty

    This is shocking… violent crime around subsidized housing, this is probably going to be national news.

    So John Wayne reruns make the thuggery shoot at each other… I wonder why they don’t have horses and hats. Or are you suggesting rap evolved because of John Wayne… that the ghetto felt as familiar as the wild west, so naturally they felt the need to get pistols and rifles and while at it got into the drug biz…

    Mr. Graham…tear down those buildings. Lots of assets in CH… these are a huge liability.

    • Anonymous

      You are missing the point. John Wayne and *insert violent gangster rapper name here* may wear different clothing and speak differently but when they were faced with adversaries, the method of resolving their conflict is the same. A glock and a colt .45 are hardly present a variety in the art of conflict resolution. Not to mention, both figures are idolized and emulated because they present a glamorous picture of a guy who exerts masculine dominance and commands respect and gets the girl. Who wouldn’t want to be like that?

      • Dirty

        No, I understand your point, but the point is violent conflict resolution is much older than John Wayne and is a much larger part of American history. Old Western movies are exactly that, wouldn’t they just be Western movies otherwise. They portray how things used to be… for much of our society, we’ve evolved to become more civil… laws help shape that. John Wayne was the good guy in a movie, there were no consequences. Lil’ Wayne is a guy, he and other current rappers, preach whatever they do knowing it’s wrong/illegal and never talk about the consequence. “I killed a guy/banged a b*tch and got rich” or “I killed a guy, went to jail and got banged like a b*tch”, which sells more records. The nature of violent conflict resolution is a cycle that causes action/reaction without the thought of legal consequences. How often do they rap about the consequences?

      • normally disagree with these kinds of comments… “its the tv’s fault” etc… but you make a pretty strong argument here anon. i like your “John Wayne” point that its not just rap vids or the Matrix movie that make people turn to violence, its a larger problem. I would point out that this problem will never change or go away.

  • JS

    Anyone want to bet that “high-powered gun” = .357 revolver?

  • Mark

    Enough with being politically correct. I agree with Dirty, TEAR ‘EM DOWN! They do not deserve our tax $’s to be housed and to hold up value of the entire neightboorhood. Its like paying someone to sit outside your door and rob/kill you. Jim Grahm will never tear them down because he in in bed with the developers.

  • Anonymous

    The section 8 projects arent going anywhere. They’re legally required to remain subsidized housing. Of course the violence and crime need to be addressed aggressively, but it seems kind of silly to say that because I moved into the neighborhood where there has been section 8 housing for decades, long-time residents now have to go.

    • Dirty

      When the city committed to restoring CH, spending the money to put the Metro stop in, the parking garage at DCUSA, they were creating assets… now a bunch of private money has followed, creating more assets.

      No one who rents their home from a private landlord has a say in whether they can live in their home beyond the lease… why is this any different? If the city owns the land, they can sell it at a profit, and go to more affordable parts of the city and provide the same housing in a different location.

      • Anonymous

        The city doesn’t own the land or the building. Section 8 projects are privately owned, and the rent is subsidized by the federal government. The owner is required by contract and by federal law to continue to use it for section 8 housing, and that requirement follows the property if the owner happens to sell it to a new owner. The section 8 projects aren’t going anywhere, so why not focus on achievable goals?

        • Dirty

          Please provide some sources for your claims. I think these properties were actually built using Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, which are 15 yrs credits, but can last as long as 30. Those are Federal rules… DC may have different allocation periods, but I doubt it’s permanent. And anything can be changed.


          Why not reverse course since the goals aren’t being met? Or let’s change the name to Affordable, Safe and Intolerable of Criminal conduct?

  • ShermanAveGuy

    Will you please cite your source? Where does the law say that they have to remain? I would like to review those laws.

    • Different anon

      You would have to grab the section 8 contract the landlord has. For large projects these were often multi-year/decade deals signed back when you didn’t want to live in the city.


      For the non-sec8 rents, dc rent control keeps rents low on larger ( >4 units total) properties.

      This limits increases to CPI + 2%, meaning for the past decade rent increases were limited to ~4.5-5%. The $300/month house in CH in 95 is still fairly cheap today.

  • mappo

    He wasn’t just a gunman. He was an armed gunman. Also, he had a gun.

    • dcdude


  • Dirty

    Great. Thank you. So Trinity Towers will likely do another 10 yr renewal and then 2022 can be the year of hope… it’s a shame they didn’t coordinate DCUSA with those blocks… It’s troubling (but not surprising) that the city would dedicate so much effort/money to metro/dcusa/tivoli, but not include those pieces as part of a larger effort. Hopefully CH continues to attract investment in spite of the continual problems in those blocks.

  • mphs

    Going back to the original commenter who wrote, “the more I hear of these stories, the more I want to move”, it is interesting to note that the violent crime rate is dropping in DC and Columbia Heights.

    And, it’s dropping despite the fact that no one has knocked down any Section 8 projects.

    • Anonymous

      Shhhhhhhhh!!!! Mphs, you’re ruining a perfectly good pretext! How are we going to replace the homes of several hundred low-income minority families with a Whole Foods if you keep spouting facts. Have you not been briefed on the codewords? Sheesh.

  • T-Bone

    The challenge is getting the residents of Section 8 housing to help with enforcing laws and standards inside their facilities. If drugs and weapons are tolerated inside the facilities, there won’t be any improvement. The majority of residents are law abiding, however sometimes that isn’t enough, they must be law enforcing, or at least willing to work with law enforcement in improving the state of their home.

    Pride in place is another issue – there is a lot of trash in the yards of the facilities near our house on Fairmont – if you don’t care what goes on outside, how can you expect anyone to care what goes on inside.


Subscribe to our mailing list