Shooting at 15th and Harvard St, NW – Victim found at 14th and Columbia Rd, NW in Columbia Heights around 6:45pm Tues. Evening

by Prince Of Petworth July 19, 2011 at 8:48 pm 135 Comments

Photo via twitter user @ShamaiLama

Many readers write along the following lines:

“Several police cars sped by while riding my bike up past Meridian Hill park on my way home from work. A few blocks up, at the intersection of 15th & Harvard, officers had stopped traffic and were getting ready to tape off the area. As I rolled my bike by I could see, unmistakably, about 10 – 12 bullet casings in the street and heard the police officer refer to them as such.

This was all in broad daylight – maybe around 6:30 or 6:45 p.m. I am guessing a drive by of some sort – anyone have any further details? Sure seems like there has been a lot of gun violence up in this area lately, though I can’t recall it being this early on in the day anytime recently.”

DCfireems confirms:

“Update – 14th St & Columbia Rd NW correct location shooting”

More info when it becomes available.

Update from MPD Wed. 4:49pm:

Dear citizens,

On 7/19/2011 at approximately 6:50 p.m., a male complainant reported that a vehicle approached him, while at 15th & Harvard Streets, N.W., and that its occupants started shooting at him. The complainant sustained a gunshot injury and was transported for medical treatment. Currently, there is a lookout for two suspects, described as 1) a black male, dreadlocks, thin build and 2) black male, short hair, medium build. Both suspects are reportedly armed with a handgun. There is also a vehicle lookout for a silver Dodge Charger with a partial Virginia tag of XGW.

Anyone having information about this incident or encountering referenced vehicle is urged to contact the Metropolitan Police Department at 202/727-9099. Thank you.

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  • Anonymous

    When I got off the Metro there at about 5:45, there was a group of 8-10 police officers being briefed by some sort of leader. I hadn’t seen this before and wondered what was up. Then this happens. Could the two things be related – some sort of intel gave them a heads up trouble might be brewing? Or might be completely coincidental.

    • John B.

      I got off the Metro about the same time, and near the top of the escalator there were several cops and a kid who they had handcuffed, with a few more kids hanging around. Don’t know what it was about.

  • Graham

    Just to let people know – not a drive-by. It occurred on Harvard between 16th and 15th, then the guy started running up 15th. He got out of the car before he started shooting, thus, not a drive-by. Sorry fellas.

    • Anonymous

      Police Alert-SHOOTING


  • charlie st. cloud

    victim was found (alive and expected to recover) at 14th and columbia or thereabouts.
    shooting was at 15th and harvard (between 15th and 16th).
    there were a lot of witnesses so hopefully someone got tags and descriptions…
    hot time summer in the city…

    • timeless

      charlie st. cloud??? – are you actually ref-ing a Zac Effron movie here? Life in the hood has gone weird beyond belief.

      • steve
      • me

        Did you put “ref-ing” to be cool or because you don’t know how to spell “referencing”?

      • charlie st. cloud

        it’s just such a ridiculous name i couldn’t resist.

  • harvard

    I think there must have been two shootings. I live on Harvard and there were definitely shots at 15th & Harvard and the entire block was shut off and I was canvassed for information. But, the police searching the alley behind my house said the shooting was at 14th & Columbia. So, two shootings at the same time?

  • ColumbiaKate

    I live at 14th and Columbia. Went outside after the fact and spoke to some folks on the street. They said that a teenage aged boy was shot around 15th and Harvard and then ran to 14th and Columbia, before collapsing. When I got outside, the police had the street blocked off and there was a pile of bloody clothes. EMS has already arrived and transported him from the scene. No idea if he was alive or not.

  • harvard

    OOPS, sorry Charlie – we crossed posts!

  • Dave

    Sounds like a drug thing maybe? Bummer…

  • highvoltage

    Will this elicit an official response on increasing (or at least increasingly apparent) violent crime in the area? I think there will be a verbal response, I’m just not certain it will carry any weight…

    • Dave

      I wish we had a better idea of who is committing these crimes and how we could help to end their era of barbarism. The kids growing up in that area are becoming links in the chain of violence and DC’s leaders can only acknowledge the murders with a half hearted shrug.

      • Anon

        I think its fairly well known… most of the perps are “crews” that form within the sec. 8 housing complexes.

      • Anon

        Hang out in the Dunkin’ Donuts on 14th street for a while. I’m fairly certain you will encounter, in addition to many law-abiding, decent citizens of varied backgrounds and the ever-patient proprietors of that store, the persons who are involved in the activities that spawn this violence. You’ll know them when you see them.

  • andy

    There were numbered tags on Columbia just west of 15th when we passed by on the bus at 7:45 p.m. 10 sounds about right.

  • Anonymous

    Time for an “all hands on deck” weekend I think.

    I know everyone says the crime statistics are down, but it seems like there is a shooting in Columbia Heights every day, When is our Mayor and Graham going to address this violence? The silence is deafening.

    • Maire

      AHOD was already scheduled for this weekend – they are all scheduled for the year already.

    • lilnemo

      Don’t worry – I am sure Mr. Graham will send out one of his emails informing us of what we already know (“Dear Friend, I regret to inform you that a shooting took place this evening…blah, blah, blah”). Unfortunately, these emails never seem to include information on what actions he is taking to address this problem.

      Oh, and as for Mr. Gray? I am sure we can expect the usual silence.

      • Anonymous

        Yes, but don’t forget Councilpansy Mendolson’s belief that “there’s no legislative solution to crime”.

  • Anonymous

    ironic and very sad that this happened during the CH community meeting on how to work with police to stop violent crimes in the area. Several of the police officers in attendance had to dash out of the meeting to respond. Yaaaay….I just LOVE living in this neighborhood. SO glad I bought a house here.

    • Denizen of Tenallytown

      But think of your investment’s potential return! The sound of cash registers in your head will drown out the bullets outside in the streets.

    • Anonymous

      I hear you. I can’t wait to get the f out of here. It’s sad, I loved this neighborhood. I’ve lived here for almost 8 years but I’ve come to learn that trying to get even the smallest issue addressed is a full time job. So, I give up. I’m done. It’s easier to be a criminal, in whatever capacity, from zoning violations to drug dealing and prostitution, then a law abiding one who cares about they live. They can have it, I don’t want it anymore, I’m just pissed i wasted 8 years here. Good riddance.

      • Petworthy

        Agreed… been in DC 15 years and it’s time to find someplace sane.

      • Max

        We are also moving. Two years in Columbia Heights and it seems like things have just gotten worse. We’re giving DC another year or so, but not this neighborhood.

        • Anonymous x2

          Yeah, we also thought Columbia Heights was on the up and up… but it’s the same sh*t every year. Try Capitol Hill & environs. It really does seem to be a lot different over here.

          • The Heights

            Capitol Hill is one of the best neighborhoods in the city for quality of life. I loved living there.

          • SF

            Even the ‘hood parts outside of Capitol Hill seem safer than parts of CH these days.

            I wonder what else we’re in for as a 5-day heat wave begins to embroil the city…

          • anon

            @ SF – i think the hood parts of capitol hill seem safer than columbia heights, because they are safer than columbia heights. judging by the amount of murders in the past 5 years, nowhere in capitol hill rivals the bad spots of columbia heights except for the E street/rosedale area around E and 17th st. NE. the area north of h street, for instance, which some wouldn’t consider capitol hill and many would consider hood, as had maybe one (this doesn’t include trinidad and ivy city).

            Using murders as a proxy, the bad parts of columb1ia heights are the area around 14th and spring, the area around sherman and hobart, the area around 17th and euclid, and the area around 14th and girard.

          • Prince Of Petworth
          • Anonymous

            No way. The hood parts of Capitol Hill scare the living bejeezus out of me. It’s great you all love it over there, but let’s not just have the bandwagon effect result in painting this neighborhood as some sort of hidden-gem hood. The hood parts are hood and have FAR less foot traffic at night, which makes a single woman (or someone of any sex) walking alone much more of a target than in areas like CH.

          • Eastern Market

            Echoing some of the other comments about Capitol Hill feeling a lot safer than Columbia Heights. It recently occurred to me that a house near the Columbia Heights metro fetches a similar or higher price as one near the Eastern Market metro, but in my opinion you’re getting a much better neighborhood if you go with the Eastern Market house. Not saying this decision is best for everyone– I used to rent in Columbia Heights in 2008, and although I always felt nervous walking alone at night I did appreciate the proximity to U Street and Adams Morgan– but I do think the Hill is a nicer place to live.

          • The Heights

            There are bad parts of Capitol Hill, like east of Lincoln Park or near Potomac Ave. Metro. But if you’re near Eastern Market or Garfield Park, the crime is less than places like Columbia Heights or Petworth. Again, the crime statistics on the MPD website bear that out. So I don’t think that selective memory is in play here. Every week there’s violence in Columbia Heights.

        • Nikki

          Give Brookland a look. When we were house shopping a few years ago, Petworth and CH were on the up and up and we were encouraged to buy there because it was all sorts of transitioning. We hadn’t even considered Brookland, but found a house we loved here. It’s certainly not as trendy here, but it’s quiet and safe if you’re in the right parts and you can get a lot of house for your money. I have never regretted passing on Petworth/CH.

          • NE Groover

            +1 for Brookland! I love living here!

          • Karl

            My Brookland-living friend has been mugged (in Brookland) and had his house broken into in the last six months. Maybe he’s living in the wrong part of Brookland– near the metro– but don’t kid yourself into thinking anywhere in the city is safe.

          • The Heights

            If you look at the crime maps, there’s a much higher concentration of crime east of the Park. Crime can happen anywhere, but some neighborhoods are much safer than others. Your chances of being attacked in Cleveland Park are much less than in Columbia Heights, Petworth, Bloomingdale, et al.

      • TR

        We haven’t lived in Columbia Heights for long, and already it’s long enough. We were excited to be part of a diverse neighborhood but instead it’s just felt increasingly unsafe for months now. The police in our neighborhood are very nice and responsive but unfortunately police presence does not deter all crime. Stupid people are going to do stupid things no matter who is around.

      • lilnemo

        Agreed – we also bought in a nice, new CH building with the hope that the neighborhood was going to change for the better. Of course we now regret that decision, as nothing really seems to have changed (recently it seems to be getting worse). I hate to say it, but part of the problem in CH is the high concentration of projects. I work in affordable housing and completely agree with the need for some level of public housing, but there is way too much concentrated in this area. We seriously need some HOPE VI type projects in CH to help de-concentrate the projects. (HOPE VI was a HUD program to redevelop exclusively low income public housing into mixed income projects. I think in some cases, residents were even given assistance to help purchase their units.)

        • Thursday post

          Jim Graham will fight moving/decentralizing low income housing out of his ward tooth and nail. Always has, always will.

          • PleasantPlainer

            What is up with Graham’s opposition to good, proven ideas? His DC USA project would have provided a lot of leverage for a HOPE VI project…

  • harvard

    I actually thought we were having a fairly quiet summer up until now (aside from the shooting of the unarmed mentally ill man in Mt. Pleasant)

  • 11th

    my girlfriend was on the ne corner of 16th and columbia when the shots rang out. really loud bangs, she says. she swang back through around 8:00 and ran into lots of police, an ambulance.

  • Anonymous

    Adams Morgan residents and merchants are getting together on an on line petition for a greater police presence and a safer Adams Morgan.

    The petition was put last week and more than 240 have signed so far:


    • Jay’O

      Great – so guess where they will take the “extra” cops from – you guessed it: Columbia Heights!

      Hope everyone feels safer in Adams Morgan!

    • Anonymous

      How about they start paying their full taxes instead of BSing their Tax returns before they ask for more cops?

      How about they stop serving people until they’re black out drunk and cramming 1.5x the maximum capacity of their building into their bars every night and then pushing them all out on the street 15 minutes after their last drink?


  • second ammendment


    folks the only way to protect ourselves is by being able to have concealed weapons permits which is currently forbidden in DC. The good people at the NRA, are fighting this injustice. In the meantime this will continue to happen. I just hope that piece of Shit Jim Graham doesn’t use this incident to further his public office. He doesn’t know the first thing about violence in this city. As he drives away in his little yellow VW, bug.

    We the people of this city need to push for the DC Government to recognize that law abiding citizens should have the right to protect themselves to the fullest extent.

    I don’t want to hear it from the hipster/left wing nuts about how this is outrageous. Wait till you get a 9mm in your face( while walking home from Wonderland or the Red Derby) and we will see how you react.

    • sheepprofessor

      The good people at the NRA are destroying our country, one neighborhood at a time. Get a grip. We didn’t have these kinds of problems back when this country had sane gun laws.

      • intractable

        Ummm…actually, I think things were pretty much worse across the board when we had “sane gun laws” — not to say there’s a causal relationship.

        And I don’t see the NRA destroying anyone’s neighborhood. But I’ll let you know the next time the person robbing me flashes his lifetime NRA membership.

        • Anonymous

          Back when this country had sane guns laws? When was that? You mean like in the 50’s when a person could mail order a 1911 for like $27 + postage? Or pick up a nice Ruger Mark I at the general store?

          You have no idea what you’re talking about.

    • hv6

      I’m unclear how drunk people walking home from bars with guns will help with eliminating gratuitous violence.

      • Anonymous

        Agreed –

      • admo resident

        Having more guns around will only lead to more chaos not protection.

        • Anonymous

          Tons o’ guns everybody’s getting strapped
          Tons o’ guns got to watch the way you act
          Tons o’ guns real easy to get
          Tons o’ guns bringing nothing but death
          Tons o’ guns are in the streets nowadays
          It’s big money and you know crime pays
          Check your nearest overpopulated ghetto
          They greet you with a pistol not trying to say hello
          Mad kids packed ‘cos the neighbourhood’s like that

    • Max

      …by going for your own 9 mil and getting shot in the face when you’re halfway there?

      life isn’t a steven seagal movie. the last thing i want on top of all the violence is a bunch of civilians waving even more guns around as if that will get them out of the situation. it doesn’t work that way.

    • Lol

      Sweet parody post!

    • STFU

      Yeah, that’s the answer…MORE GUNS!

      Over and over the vast majority of DC residents have spoken and shown that we don’t want handguns legalized in our city. It’s not even close. We don’t want you gun-toting NRA nutcases packing heat here.

      Then the Supreme Court overruled our majority, so we lost on that…but we’ll be damned if we’re going to roll over for “concealed carry”!

      EFFIN’ INSANITY! You folks are truly certifiable.


      Hipster/Left Wing Nut

      • CUA grad

        What if we actually sentenced the illegal gun violators to hard time and tried more juveniles committing violent crimes as adults. The weak sentencing and soft on crime juries are a huge problem. To me, if you are involved in a gun crime or have a gun illegally, you should do hard time.

        • Anonymous

          The problem is absolutely the lax juvenile justice laws that presuppose that it’s better for a kid to walk with a slap on the risk for criminal activity, than for society to be protected. The idea being that society can absorb the criminal activity and move on, while a black kid with a record will never get a decent job.

          • Tres


            Plus, if you don’t punish criminals — regardless of their age — then they commit more crimes. So the affect of lax, pro-criminal sentencing is an amplification of the number of problem kids.

      • Mr. Poon

        Sometimes the Constitution (or SCOTUS’s interpretation thereof) trumps majority rule. People in North Dakota say the same thing about Roe that you’re saying about Heller.

    • Anonymous

      “Good people at the NRA” = not. I’m sure there are some very nice people who are a member of the NRA, and a whole heap of wing nuts who want a semi-automatic weapon in every household.

      • Mr. Poon

        Almost all weapons are semi-automatic.

    • Maire

      Great so this victim could have returned fire at a moving vehicle after being shot himself?

      I understand the theory of CCW but in practice, in most of the crimes that happen in this city, you would be either trying to outdraw a drawn weapon or already knocked the in face and on the ground by the time you realize you’ve been robbed.

    • Phineas

      Mr. Second Amendment (FYI-that’s the correct spelling),

      I’ll play your game. Please outline the scenario where having a concealed weapon would have prevented either of these crimes. First, I’d like to hear how me having a concealed weapon would prevent one teenage gangbanger getting shot by another teenage gangbanger. Do you recommend all the teenage gangbangers carry weapons? Because I think that may already be the case. Or should I start randomly firing at the escaping perp? Because that doesn’t sound ideal. I’d either shoot a bystander, get shot myself, or get shot by the police who didn’t know I was a vigilante good guy.

      Second, I’d like to hear how carrying a weapon prevents me from getting mugged. I’m lucky enough to not have been mugged yet but I know many victims and I have yet to hear of a situation where someone stops 5 feet away with a knife and asks for their money. They either are blindsided with a fist, a brick, or a pipe or else the gun is shoved into their stomach or chest from close range. I cannot in my mind create a scenario where I would be able to pull my gun and use it against them. The probable outcome is that when they knock my unconscious from behind they will take my shiny piece along with my iphone and wallet and either use it against me or use it to commit their next crime.

      So please, gun nuts, I know you’re out there. I honestly understand how having a gun in your house may be useful against burglers, but I do not understand how a concealed weapon prevents a mugging or a drive-by. Enlighten me.

      • Another guy named Chris

        There was a mugging in SW about a month back where the victim was surrounded by 4-5 muggers while he was sitting on a park bench listening to his iPod. He realized what was about to happen and had enough time to get up and run about half a block before he was caught and pummeled.

        If he had a gun perhaps he could have pulled out instead of running, and bought himself time to make a safer getaway.

        • Maymo

          Phineas – someone played your game. You are enlightened. What, no response?

          • Anonymous

            yeah, you sure got him with that one anecdote.

    • Elza

      I was on the way home from the gym when this shooting occurred next to my apartment last night. Was would you suggest I have done – carried a gun in my gym bag JUST IN CASE there might be a shooting at 7pm on a weeknight? Really?

    • skadoosh

      20 bucks says if you have a 9mm in your face, and try to pull your own, you get a bullet in the face. Unless youre legitimately handling it at all times, youre gonna get yoursefl killed.

      -“hipster/left wing nut”

  • Deak

    Sheep: Seriously? How many murders due to gun violence every year in this city? That isn’t the NRA’s fault. In fact, by definition, zero of the illegal weapons related murders are the fault of the NRA. That is sort of their point. Life isn’t fair, but sometimes you should be able to defend yourself.

    And to everybody else: I lived on that block from 2008-2010. Shootings went from an average of a few a month to a quiet on-occasion during that time. The neighborhood is a lot better than it use to be. But, the Crews at 14th and Girard, 15th and Girard, and near 14th Columbia/Harvard will continue to terrorize and run amok in this area until the city either reorganizes the Section 8’s or chooses to protect its new tax base. Which requires a little voter action. There is a reason there are no longer crack heads in Logan Circle.

    • Anonymous

      Honest question — what was the course of voter action that cleaned up Logan?

      • saf

        Long-term serious involvement from the Logan Circle Citizens Association, including neighborhood watch walks every night, a great deal of time and effort spent lobbying the councilmember and other city officials for support, and an effective media strategy.

        • greent

          and money. Lots and lots of money.

          Captcha Arry

  • Anonymous

    Please don’t feed the gun trolls. It’s the same argument every thread and detracts from the serious issues.

    Thank you.

    • andy

      dude if we cut out guns and racism what would happen to Prince of Petworth?

      • Austin DC

        We could still argue about bikes vs. cars. Mebbe leave a few half-hearted posts about the garden of the day. I suppose we could talk about whether houses are good deals or not, but then that always slides back into the gun and racism thing.

        I hope the victim is okay. My thoughts are with them and their family.

      • anon

        And in addition to arguing about bikes and cars, there’s always arguing about dog parks, and dog poo.

  • Native American JD in DC

    Which is why I live across the street from DC in MD. Where the Montgomery County Council ignores the needs, zoning and otherwise of Downtown Silver Spring.

    This whole region is f’d. From Congress, to DC, to NOVA, to MoCo, to Baltimore.

    It’s getting to seem like it’s time to find work elsewhere in, or potentially outside this used to be great nation.

    • M


    • Anonymous

      Where? I’m tired of people complaining about DC. I’ve been throughout this great nation and quite a few places abroad. There is no city that I would rather live in. I want a job, the ability to buy a house less an hour from my work, public transportation, thriving neighborhoods, a place to run, and a good music scene. No other city has that. And I used to fantasize about Australia until I went there and realized they were all pretty racist and all the snakes are deadly. (for all you Aussies, I kid, but you’ve got to admit it’s got a serious West Virginia vibe….)

      • Meg

        Correction: Many other cities have jobs, houses for less, closer to work, better public transportation, better neighborhoods (safer, at the very least), places to run and better music scenes.

        Believe me, I haven’t just “been” there. I’ve lived there.

        I’m sticking it out in DC for another few months. Nobody lives in the city, for good reason.

        • Anonymous

          And one example would be? Everyone claims somewhere else is better but they all end up here. And whine about it. “Nobody lives in the city”? Where do you get that from?

          Seriously, if you don’t like it, please do move back to your fictional utopia. I’d just like to know where it is because I haven’t found it yet.

        • Anonymous

          “Nobody lives in the city, for good reason”


          • james

            To quote Yogi Berra: “Nobody goes there anymore, because it’s too crowded.”

        • Anonymous

          MANY cities have better public transportation?
          how do you define MANY?

          and which ones?

        • The Heights

          Meg – please enlighten us with the places that have all of these attributes. I’ve lived in several urban areas around the country and they all have their charm, but DC is a great place to be with a lot of amenities (like all of the free cultural events) that are scarce in other American cities.

          • Anonymous

            meg just sounds bitter.

          • Meg

            Ok, this I can agree with. I think the free cultural event and especially the museums, are fantastic. I’m really not trying to be antagonistic or “bitter” as Anonymous put it. Must be my early morning grouchiness, but I’ll still defend myself.

            Great nightlife and cultural events doesn’t make a city livable. That makes it fun to visit. I find it amazing that America’s capital has one of the highest rates of crime in the country and the most inept and corrupt government. I know there are reasons for that, but we can’t sit here and say it’s the best, most functional city ever. There are better.

            As far as public transportation, Chicago for one has far better and more accessible transportation. See the map here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago_'L‘ It clearly extends to more places, and the Metra can go even further for very cheap. Plus, fewer incidents. However, you’ll probably say “but we’re a smaller city.”

            I know that DC is smaller. But the taxes for both cities are smiliar, and you still get a hell of a lot more in Chicago. Plus, living expenses are less there – how do you square with that? I’ll tell you, we may get paid more here, but cost of living is more, even taking that into account. DC is one of the most expensive places to live, and I’m sure it is above any city of its size. If you’re going to live in a city and pay the premium, it ought to be the utmost in convenience, and I’m sorry…DC fails to deliver on that. Why are you ok paying more than many americans pay to live in cities that offer less than other cities that have better lifestyles, better crime rates (for their size), better nightlife, but are less expensive? If you’re ok with paying more for what is arguably a very pretty city with a lot of free stuff, that’s up to you.

            I’m here, aren’t I? But I’m taking your advice, and I’m leaving.

          • Reality Check

            Then go to chicago. bye!

          • Anonymous

            Chicago is the only other city that Meg could have listed that I would not have laughed at. I’m a huge fan of Chicago and lived there for four years. My problem with Chicago was that I saw no future there for me once I had kids. The Chicago schools are worse than the schools here and you simply can’t live in the Chicago suburbs. DC is smaller and so it’s tolerable to live in Arlington or MoCo and have decent public schools, a house, and a reasonable commute. Chicago’s suburbs are a universe from the city. I have several friends who live in one Chicago suburb and commute 90 minutes to another suburb. They go into the actual city of Chicago probably 5 times a year. I just don’t get it. Here it’s easy to get into DC from the burbs. So that’s why I prefer DC to Chicago but I accept the comparison. I also personally like the fact that few people here go drinking with their buddies from high school which I think is an advantage over most other cities.

            So we’ve got one fair comparison. I still don’t see the “many” that were promised…..

          • Meg

            You said “no other city has that.” I was just refuting your claim.

          • The Heights

            Meg, I had a feeling that you might have been talking about Chicago. They’ve got good transportation, great culture (which is very important for livability) and some of the best restaurants in the country. Too bad about their sports teams. Anyway, DC and Chicago are like apples and oranges, especially when it cmes to the tax issue you seem to fundamentally misunderstand (“But the taxes for both cities are smiliar” (sic)). DC does not get the taxes it shoould due to the amount of federal land in the city. Also, the workers from MD and VA do not pay taxes to the District. Therefore, DC misses out on tons of tax revenue that our overseers in Congress think we don’t need. So, to say that Chicago and DC have similar ratios of tax revenue is way incorrect. Sorry you haven’t enjoyed your time here, but maybe during the depths of a cold Chicago winter you’ll feel that you should have given DC more of a chance.

          • Meg

            So because DC doesn’t get tax revenue…I “shoould (sic)” feel sorry for it?

            We pay a huge premium to live in a city that doesn’t offer what it should. You, Anonymous, and probably myself self ourselves short when we settle for this.

          • Meg


          • The Heights

            Meg, I think you missed my point. I’m simply refutinmg your point that Chicago and DC can be compared easily. I never asked you to feel sorry for anyone. I think you’ve mischaracterized DC and oversold Chicago. I think Chicago’s a great city (I grew up in Illinois and visited often). But I think DC offers a lot for a city of its size and Chicago is certainly no crime-free utopia. As for “livability,” that’s such a subjective term as to be useless. Plus, if you drive an hour out of Chicago, where are you? Indiana? Northern Illinois? DC not only offers a lot in the city limits, there’s more to do here within a 1 to 1 1/2 hour drive than anywhere else I’ve ever lived. And I have faith that the city government and crime levels will change for the better. They already have. All of this, of course is futile. You love Chicago and hate DC. I grew up in and loathe the midwest (except for Titletown – you know the one). No one will change anyone else’s mind. The good news is that when you leave, hopefully someone who appreciates the city can take your place.

          • Meg

            I feel like the original statement, that got lost in all of this (my fault, probably), was that no other city offered what DC. That was what I was original argument. Sorry that got lost in the shuffle.

        • SF

          Meg, it’s like you’re writing this post from the year 1986.

          • billindc

            Lol…exactly. Having lived in DC in 1986 it boggles my mind that people are hyperventilating over the practically 1960’s levels of crime currently occurring in DC.

            The bottom line is, if you don’t like DC then by all means hit the bricks. We won’t miss you.

        • saf

          Nobody lives in the city? Uh-huh. I guess I (and my entire neighborhood) are imaginary.

          • Meg

            Ok that might have been a hyperbole. Sorry if that was missed.

      • lilnemo

        Actually, there are many parts of the City and the DC metro region we would like to live in. We just don’t want to live in CH anymore.

        • nobody

          14th street heights (come on with your “there’s NO SUCH NEIGHBORHOOD slams — i don’t give a shit) between 16th and georgia (arkanas to colorado) has been pretty decent (i’m in my 17th year there). it may take a while to really “pop,” like if/when we get a streetcar line. the one drag is there is not much to walk to, but then again there aren’t that many muggers to dodge. they will come, along with the hipster bars and trendy used clothes stores….

    • Laughing

      It’s frustrating, isn’t it? We pay so much to live in this area, and get so very little.

      I find the regional divisiveness extremely tiresome as well. I’ve seen it in other cities, but it’s nowhere near as bad as here.

      DC people dissing NoVa, NoVa dissing MD, MoCo dissing PG, this DC hood dissing that DC hood, and everyone dissing poor little Baltimore. I know a lot of it is tongue in cheek, but come on.

      • Anon

        Yeah, but Baltimore really deserves it, you have to admit.

        • Anonymous

          not to me. i like baltimore.

      • Anonymous

        i find people who seriously dis other areas are very boring people.

      • Local PW

        I like Baltimore (not everything about it) but I like boats and Fells Point in particular.

  • adios

    Hear that Mayor Gray? That’s the sound of your tax base fleeing to the suburbs.

    • Anonymous


    • Dante

      That makes him happy. He can raise taxes on Ward 3 and doesn’t have to worry about improving schools (or anything else) in Wards 4-8.

    • Anonymous

      He doesn’t care. He’d be thrilled if all the “gentrifiers” moved out now that they’ve fixed up all the housing stock.

  • Ask the Mayor
  • Reality Check

    2008 was actually the high water mark for crime in DC over the past 7 years. We are on track to come in under that for 2011.

    So, if crime was such a big deal to you that you’re now suddenly scared to go out of your house, why did you move here in the first place? Crime has been less frequent since 2008 than it has been since the 70s…

    The truth is, in 2008, in 2009, today, the crime situation is far different than it was in the 90s during the heyday of DC violent crime.

    You people need to get a perspective on things and stop flying off the handle at this “escalation in crime”.

    Its just pointless scape goating of Gray. We get it, you didnt vote for him, neither did I, but creating this false narrative that fits your perception of some Gray caricature is just dumb.

    You should be thankful that we have a city willing to devote the level of resources to fighting crime that we do.

    There are a lot of criminals out there and it could be a lot worse without the resources that are used every day to keep us safe.

    If all of you whiners really feel that its less safe today than when you moved here, get the fuck out.

    • M

      Word! Let them leave; more room for us at the bar at the Red Derby. I think this fixation on individual crimes (exacerbated by blogs covering every timny event) is a great example of the availability heuristic (a cognitive error where a single high-profile event distorts your view of the actual pattern). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Availability_heuristic

      • Anonymous


      • Tim

        +1. Once crime drops again in the neighborhood, people will be back to saying “I love Columbia Heights!”

        • nobody

          right. it’s sort of like saying “i’m NEVER drinking canned beer again!” after a binge at the Derby. sooner or later, you’ll be back to the bar….

      • billindc


    • Agreed

      Couldn’t have said it better myself. Thank you!

    • harvard

      Yeah, somehow don’t think that pulling out a gun when someone has a 9mm in your face will exactly protect you. You are welcome to try it, however! I’m with y’all. Yes, this crime was scary (happened within earshot for me), but this has been a (relatively) quiet summer. Folks, nowhere is safe. Remember the sniper days when the suburb folks would gas up at the Exxon at 18th & Columbia because of the perception that DC gas stations were safer? Your house is no less safe than it was yesterday, or the day before, or will be tomorrow.

    • Mr. Poon

      +1. Thank fuck someone else is rational and can convey their point, because I was going to post something identical if I hadn’t read this.

      We’re living through a trend where violence is declining. But it’s a trend. There’s still going to be violence, but less of it each year, god willing. We might have crime waves here or there, but there’s no evidence that the trend for Columbia Heights is over. It might be, and crime might pick back up, but that seems very unlikely to those of us who’ve been here for a while.

      Those who lament on here that crime is picking up just aren’t correct. And I’m not one of those people who says “then go back to Ballston!” because the neighborhood needs you. I understand that you can “feel” unsafe, sure. But it’s not necessarily rational. CH is safer now when you moved in, despite these terrible events of the past few weeks.

  • failures art

    The people who talk about fleeing DC (or Columbia Heights) for the burbs are welcome to it. You aren’t blessing us with your presence. There’s never going to be a day when you’re gone, and people will sob into their beer at Red Rocks and nostalgically recall the good old days when the neighborhood had such a character like you.

    Be my guest, move to NoVA and turn it into something cool. I’m sure you think you’re the reason ward 1 is cool. Take *that* cool with you.

    Also, the response from Graham and Grey is not good enough? I’m sorry, but this is stupid. Both could rally up people and march them in the street. That’s security theater. They can’t make promises or guarantee results. Why demand it from them?

    A whole lot of good the Harvard night-into-day spot light does. Crime is a reality, and it’s something we live with. I had more crime affect me personally in Falls Church, than I have in DC.

    Enough complaining.

    • +1

    • Yes, but the people that will leave are going to be leaving more room for more of the type of people who go around shooting other people.

      • Anonymous

        Say word……

      • failures art

        So wait…

        When the middle class gentry leave, new residents move into their old residences now that property taxes have gone up do to the previous residents? These new residents are assumed more criminal? What?

    • Anonymous

      Accepting “crime as reality” is the post-modern, liberal guilt, crime-happening-to-middle-class-white-people-as-acceptable idiocy that actually traps poor black kids in poverty and kept this city economically underinvested for 30+ years. You’re a suburban/Manhattan idiot.

      When you face crime and you break up the gangs (forcefully if necessary, because that’s the only thing gangs respond to), then kids don’t have to join gangs (crews for you word splitters) for protection. When kids don’t have to join crews for protection, there’s no one pushing them to commit stupid crimes.

      • Mr. Poon

        I’ve always seen this as a bit of a straw man and it’s an argument presented often on PoP. I don’t agree with failures art because I think Columbia Heights needs interns and yuppies and party aparatchiks and whatnot, and I’m happy to have them. Density makes for better neighborhoods. NYC is chock full of assholes, but it’s a great city.

        But I also don’t agree that someone who makes the point that this isn’t a surprise is accepting murders in their midst. We live in a city where there are murders and you have to expect them to happen. This summer isn’t going to be the end of history. Posters above who complain about their decision to move to the neighborhood are exceedingly naive.

        Additionally, to your points specifically, I also believe that anyone who thinks that we can stop murders without reforming drug laws, among others, is equally naive. This idea you have that “breaking up gangs” is going to solve Washington DC’s homicide problem is preposterous. Most homicides in DC are committed by people unaffiliated with gangs.

      • failures art

        I’m not saying accept crime as some sort of complacency. I’m saying that at no point in the future does any community achieves some sort of post-crime utopia. Crime exists, and so our police forces need to continue to address it in the best of their ability. I simply don’t care for security theater. Take out airports as an example of that.

  • skadoosh

    I think we all need to cool off a bit, this summer heat is makin evurybody a bit grumplestilskin.

    group field trip to one of our lovely public pools perhaps?

  • its hot

    Bombard Vince Grays Twitter account as well as Jim Graham’s (does he have one?). These two individuals are like most politicians and only care about their public image and perception in the (social)media. Jim Graham is probably out shopping for bow ties right now at Brooks Brothers and Vince is probably indoors avoiding this heat.

  • Prince Of Petworth

    From MPD:

    “Dear citizens,

    On 7/19/2011 at approximately 6:50 p.m., a male complainant reported that a vehicle approached him, while at 15th & Harvard Streets, N.W., and that its occupants started shooting at him. The complainant sustained a gunshot injury and was transported for medical treatment. Currently, there is a lookout for two suspects, described as 1) a black male, dreadlocks, thin build and 2) black male, short hair, medium build. Both suspects are reportedly armed with a handgun. There is also a vehicle lookout for a silver Dodge Charger with a partial Virginia tag of XGW.

    Anyone having information about this incident or encountering referenced vehicle is urged to contact the Metropolitan Police Department at 202/727-9099. Thank you.”


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