Frustration Mounts as More Shots Fired Reported at 7th and Jefferson St, NW

by Prince Of Petworth November 19, 2015 at 9:45 am 74 Comments

shots fired

On twitter the frustration is understandable to say the least:

“@PoPville at least 20 shots fired near 7th & Jefferson @MayorBowser should walk this area at night and not during the day to [see] what goes on”



  • Common Sense

    This is ridiculous. Mayor Bowser should be ashamed of herself for letting this go on. I’m sure if it was Syrian refugees and not a group of MARYLAND residents hanging out at that corner until 6 am every night, there would be saturation patrols and arrests!

    • Kevin

      Not to minimize the seriousness of gunfire on our streets but the Syrian refugee comment is absurd, as is the notion that the mayor is “letting this happen.”

      • transplanted


        Agreed. I’ve been unimpressed with Bowser’s term thus far, but it’d be nice if we tried to keep the discourse here above the level of my drunk uncle attributing his parking ticket to HUSSEIN OBAMA.

        • Anon

          But the OP thinks he’s using”Common Sense”! Can’t argue with that, eh?

      • siz


    • petworther

      I agree with Kevin. I hate gunfire as much as the next guy, but the Syria analogy is worse than the chicken coop.

      • Anon

        I do believe it’s chicken “co-op”.

    • Common Sense

      Why do you all hate Syrian Refugees? Show some compassion!

      • I Dont Get It

        Give it up, please.

  • 8th and Kennedy

    Is there any more information on what date/time this happened? Am I safe in assuming this was last night? I am pretty sure this probably had something to do again with 626 Jefferson. I know MPD is working to gather evidence and build a case, but this is so, so frustrating. We have a pretty significant amount of patrols in the Jefferson/Kennedy/Longfellow corridor between 5th and Georgia, so it is amazing that this type of stuff is still happening despite that.

    • Anon

      Wait. What’s at 626 Jefferson? That’s really close to my house.

      • 8th and Kennedy

        There is supposedly a drug house/significant criminal activity going on at that location. MPD and the OAG is aware, and have said they are working to build a case and will hopefully be making arrests soon. This is so out of hand and unacceptable.

    • neighbor

      It happened around 11:30pm last night 11/18. My husband watched (and provided play-by-play) the the 911 person of two men getting into a car and driving away. Police did the usual, show up, comb the area, stayed around for a long time – but of course, that’s the band aid to all this (and so is a generally high police presence and nightly patrols). We need some actual treatment on this stuff.
      We live on 7th between Ingraham and Jefferson so I can’t say whether this was directly related to 626 Jefferson or the shady-looking house on the corner, but either way, it’s not good.

      • 8th and Kennedy

        Thanks, neighbor. I’ve been trying to find some info on what time this happened, but MPD does not have anything listed. Frustrating. I agree that there is a lot of band-aiding going on, which at this point I guess is better than nothing, but further steps need to be taken to get it to stop permanently. Either way, super, super frustrating and scary!

        • Matt

          I asked MPD via Twitter today if they had info and so far no response. I heard the shots too, and I’m up by Coolidge! I said “That’s either gunshots far away, or fireworks nearby. Probably gunshots, though.”

      • Alyria

        A someone who lives on this block, pretty sure 626 and the corner house are connected. Not sure what the nightly patrols are doing. Hasn’t seemed to deter the 20+ people who can be seen selling/doing drugs at the corner of 7th and Jefferson on a nightly basis.

        • 8th and Kennedy

          You are probably right that they are connected. Do you/your neighbors call 911 when you see people doing this stuff? I know its obnoxious to call all the time, but MPD has said that this is how they allocate resources to specific areas, and sometimes how they are able to approach a group of people when they may not have probably cause otherwise, so it might help a bit if you guys aren’t doing it already. (which you might be, just suggesting)

          • jonah

            As a follow up at the last PSA 407 meeting we were told when you call 911 to leave your name and also the address you believe it is related to. The names are needed so the incident isn’t thrown out as police harassment if it comes from someone who lives in the area. The address is needed by OAG to show a pattern at a particular location.

      • LeafyG

        I THOUGHT I heard that last night, but there were SO MANY I assumed I was mishearing.

  • Anon

    Yep. I live at 9th and Jefferson and I could hear this in my shower. There were so many shots I thought it must be fireworks. It happens so much now I’m starting to just tune it out. What the f is going on?? It wasn’t always like this in Petworth.

    • Anon

      Where have you been? It’s been like this for the five years I’ve lived in Petworth. The violence is off and on, but the neighborhoods have definitely gotten better.

  • Anonymous

    It’s not just in Brightwood. We’re North Columbia Heights and its out of control. Just look at the Washington Post crime poll this morning. Bowser and MPD better come up with some city-wide solutions of her term is going to be a short one. Tired of excuses blamed on “national trends.” What they are doing is not working. Time to step it up and show some leadership.

    • Anonamom

      This is Brightwood Park. Brightwood is pretty quiet most of the time.

      • petworther

        Brightwood Park doesn’t exist. This was in Brightwood and it’s everyone’s problem. Trying to pretend like violence stops at the end of your block is just ignoring the problem.

        • transplanted

          Wait, what? Brightwood and Brightwood Park are different neighborhoods. Of course no one should use that as an excuse to ignore problems happening in neighborhoods outside of their own, but it seems like a stretch to assume that’s what Anonamom was doing.

          • HaileUnlikely

            The area that is legally Brightwood is huge. It encompasses lots of areas that are very different from one another, including most of what everybody calls Takoma (the Takoma Education Campus, Takoma Library, and Takoma Aquatics Center are all legally Brightwood if anybody cares.) Whether this is Brightwood or Petworth or whatever, I think we can agree that the area from about 4th or 5th, Georgia, Jefferson, and Longfellow has some serious problems.

          • Anon

            The southern border of Takoma is Aspen, so TEC and the Library are DEFINITELY in Takoma and NOT in Brightwood.

          • HaileUnlikely

            I said “legally.” The boundaries that people use when they talk about neighborhoods are always in flux; the legal boundaries are fixed. The Takoma Education Campus, Takoma Library, and my house located several blocks north of any of that, are all legally Brightwood.

        • Breedendials
      • Ray

        Technically, this is not Brightwood – it’s Petworth. Kennedy Street is the northern border of Petworth. See https://www.washingtonpost.com/realestate/where-we-live-dcs-petworth-neighborhood/2013/10/10/6634d1fa-0c39-11e3-9941-6711ed662e71_story.html.

        • BrightwoodNorth

          Ah, the good old days: “I feel relatively safe,” says Silverman, pointing out that crime in Petworth has dropped dramatically over the past decade. “I used to hear gunshots when I moved in, and now I can’t even remember the last time I heard gunshots.”

        • LeafyG

          thank you for finally getting that right!

    • tom

      Not to let Bowers off the hook. But, what exactly is she supposed to do? She is constrained by the political realities of DC. Bowser’s crime plan was pretty much DOA with the council.

      More social programs are very long-term solutions with very indirect correlations with crime reduction. Conservative solutions like tougher policing, even if (a big if) they were effective, are a political non-starter in DC. Since the recent crime increase, the most active and organized group on criminal justice matters has been police reform groups who generally measure success by less enforcement, fewer arrests, and alternatives to jail. Maybe in the long term, that is the right solution. But, it is unclear how that will do anything about an immediate crime problem.

      That pretty much leaves the status quo of safety walks, police tents, community meetings to encourage citizens to call the police, etc.

      • T

        Very true.

        • Anonymous

          What is Bowser to do? I don’t know. I certainly don’t have access to the resources that she has as our elected leader. The council most certainly deserves blame too. Crime is on the rise and you’ll nearly hear people acknowledge it. What I do know is that what is currently being done is not working… Change tactics. MPD officers STILL blame the consolidation of VICE squads as part of the reason they have trouble with enforcement. It’s not up to me to know what to do. It’s up to our Mayor and City Council.

      • kate

        You are absolutely right that Bowser can’t waive a magic wand and make all the crime go away. What irks me though is that she sticks her head in the sand and pretends that nothing is wrong or that her ridiculous PR measures are a fix – ‘we did a daytime crime walk in Columbia Heights, problem solved!’ She simply doesn’t seem serious about reducing crime or taking citizens’ complaints seriously. I have very little hope that things will improve during her tenure.

      • Ed

        Exactly. She actually came up with a decent plan but was shouted down by Blacklivesmatter & as you point out or would never pass the council anyway.

        DC either needs to encourage more gentrification or it’ll simply have to wait out the cycle of violence. I feel bad for DC residents because unlike NYC ’90s it lacks a significant white working class that could fall behind a viable law & order type.

  • marigold

    Wow, I looked into a condo on Jefferson St and passed on it so I guess I dodged a bullet there :-/. On a related note, I had a nightmare last night that someone broke into my place and I stabbed them repeatedly with a knife. Nightmare courtesy of these newstories and late night American Horrror Story watching. :-/

    • Guillermo Brown

      Thanks for letting us know

      • SWChick


  • neighbor

    These shots brought me from fast asleep to jumping out of bed wide awake quicker than I ever thought to be possible. It was all happening rapid fire like a movie – and it really is ridiculous. A few bad apples with long-standing beefs against each other are totally unnerving our otherwise nice and neighborly community. And clearly, we are not the only neighborhood in the city that is having this experience. I also can’t pretend to have the right answers/solutions because we all know at least half a dozen issues need to be tackled when it comes to targeted violence like this.

  • ana

    this needs to stop or the influx of normal folks will stop in dc. no one wants to live like this and people with means to get out will so once again you will have the situation you had in the 90s.

    • TJ

      The situation needs to be addressed, but what you sketch out isn’t going to happen. D.C. reached a tipping point some time ago, and younger generations don’t appear likely to suddenly find love in owning a car and living on the classic suburban 1/4 acre.

      • Autoexec.bat

        They will when they have kids and realize that the gun battles and random ADWs aren’t going to stop anytime soon. People change and circumstances change, making what seemed like must-have amenities and perks of urban living in ones 20s seem irrational given the trade-offs in their 30s and 40s.

      • d

        I used to think that tipping point had been reached pretty much everywhere west of the river, but now seriously doubt that it has, especially in neighborhoods like Petworth and Brightwood. Logan Circle, of course is not going back to the bad old days, but those who can’t afford Logan or other close in neighborhoods may end up in the burbs or Tenleytown if this spike in crime turns out to be more than temporary.

        • sproc

          Agree to a large extent, but someone is doing the pimping in and around Logan/Mt. Vernon. Far from an expert, but I’d wager many criminal enterprises are not single-product.

      • Philippe Lecheval

        Most younger people are overly idealistic before they grow up and face the realities of their environment.

      • neighbor

        I am one of these younger generation types and have a young child and I now long for a car and a classic suburban 1/4 acre.

      • Ed

        Meh what looks cool & exciting in your 20s, changes in your 30s & 40s. Even in the bad ole days cities were full of young folks craving excitement. They grew up & moved out. No different now.

    • d

      Not sure what qualifies as “normal” around these parts. But I think I’m pretty darn normal, basic even, and things would have to get much, much, much, much worse for me to consider leaving the district. But I’ve lived here since ’99 so my definition of “bad” is probably not “normal.” In 16 years I’ve experienced nothing but very minor property crime, and that was only 2x in 16 years.

  • andy

    Legally, what’s the difference between cops patrolling and posting up outside of a certain address on the sidewalk or in the alley where we keep seeing activity? Why can’t we just starve such a place of business?

  • h

    Did anybody else hear what sounded like three gunshots last night at 11:30pm near 3rd and H St. NE?

    • Anon H St

      I heard it too – Frozen Tropics & others tweeted that it was kids setting off fireworks

      • And others being @PoPville :) I have post on this coming later this afternoon.

  • JB

    You’re wrong about that. Maybe you have kids, maybe you don’t, but things changed for us after our 2 sons were born. Lived at 9th and Jefferson for 7 years. Couldn’t take it anymore. Neighborhood never improved. And now it seems it has gotten worse. Headed to MoCo a couple years ago and it was the best thing we ever did. Sorry, but that area is just too far from a metro station to ever get over the hump and become better developed. Yeah, my commute sucks, but gunfire is waking me up anymore, either.

  • Does anyone know if there’s a connection between the dudes that hang out on 7th and Jefferson and the group on 4th and Jefferson? I’m always nervous that they are going to fight it out (since I live at 5th and Jefferson). Turns out I’m a deep sleeper, though, and didn’t hear any of this.

    • jim_ed

      I wonder if sound wasn’t travelling particularly well last night. I only live a few blocks the other way, I was awake, and had the front door open around this time, and I didn’t hear a thing.

      • shmoo

        Im around 7th and gallatin and I heard it with the tv on, windows closed, and on the second floor of my house.

        • Matt

          I live up by Coolidge and I heard it.

  • jonah

    There is a Citizen Advisory Committee meeting, basically neighbors who work with MPD, tonight for the Fourth District (kind of overlaps with Ward 4 but not quite) at 6001 Georgia Ave at 7:00pm. If you want answers about gun violence I highly recommend showing up, being vocal, and requesting actual answers. The more people that show up and demand action the better the chances you will be answers and responses.

    • 8th and Kennedy

      Yes, this is a totally under used resource for the community. I can’t make it tonight, but I hope there is a big turnout!

      • neighbor

        I’m going! Thanks for the reminder, Jonah

  • KAM

    I work in law enforcement and live on the 600 block of Jefferson and call the police regularly about the house on Jefferson (I’m not certain if 626 is the exact address) and the crowds of people hanging out daily. I called 911 again last night after the gunfire and my out of town guests woke me up because they were terrified due to the shooting. I haven’t seen any improvement in the decrease of illegal activity that occurs there since it increased approximately during the summer of 2013. It actually seems to be getting worse unfortunately and I’ve been in touch with local law enforcement and parole agencies to provide information as I’m made aware of who is hanging out.

    • Anonanon

      Thanks for your efforts. Have light arrays been used on this house yet? We live nearby, and these did wonders for the problems we were having last year.

      • Live There

        Yes, light arrays and mobile video surveillance were used after the last incident of gunfire, https://www.popville.com/2015/10/readers-report-multiple-shots-fired-around-7th-and-jefferson-st-nw-last-night/ , for about 3 weeks. It was 3 weeks of relative calm because the drug dealers and prostitutes that work this corner tend to stay away from being monitored. Then the lights and video came down and MPD probably figured the problem was contained because there hadn’t been any calls, but, (SHOCKER!!) 2 weeks later another occurrence of gunfire!! It is appalling that authorities are aware that there are 2 houses, 626 Jefferson St and 632 Jefferson St, that are the cause of so much violence and illegal behavior, yet nothing is being done to curb said violence. People will get on this forum and talk about how we need to get our elected leaders to listen, we need to continue to call 911, we need to form a neighborhood watch, etc, etc… But until the MPD and the Mayor’s office decide to deal with the nuisance homes, we, as normal citizens, can do very little to protect ourselves. This happened at 11:15pm, from 5pm last evening until then there were at least 3 crews roaming around smoking weed, drinking openly, gambling, blocking sidewalks and streets, etc.. The same sh*t that goes on every day on this corner, unless a cruiser is parked right there or the mobile surveillance is in place. Police are called constantly for these problems, trust me, 911 is on my speed dial now. I just hope that nobody innocent gets caught in the cross-fire from this garbage, unfortunately, I feel it is the only way real change might actually come about. Oh, and I’ve lived here for 9+ years, and it has definitely gotten worse in the past 2.

        • h

          Sign on corner house (via StreetView): “Muriel for Mayor.”

          (You can’t reasonably blame one elected official for this, it’s just kind of funny and suits the critics, considering the discussion here. :)

  • Anonymous

    For anyone who claims that PoP readers just bash Bowser of crime, I’d suggest they pick up the Washington Post. It’s a vast majority of DC.

    • Anonymous

      She’s the Mayor and the Mayor is ultimately responsible. Having said that, whether authorities can condemn a property as being a nuisance or whether police should raid a property are not really calls she gets to make.

  • ZetteZelle

    Has Brandon Todd said/done anything about this? I’d be inclined to blame him before blaming the Mayor, but maybe he’s already offered some sort of help?

  • Live There Too

    This happened right outside my building. There were so many shots fired that I thought a f’ing machine gun was going off. Given the time of night that it happened I’m surprised no innocent bystanders got hurt/killed. I also saw this morning that a couple cars had bullet holes in them and windows shot out.

    Sadly I think we will get the same response as we always do. The MPD will post up on the corner for week or two, leave, just to have to come back again and repeat the process over and over again. I’ve lived here for nearly a decade now and nothing has changed in regards to the drugs and violence. I’m worried that it will take someone innocent getting killed or seriously hurt in order for this area to get the attention it deserves. Just sad….

  • Live Here

    It is now 8:07pm, the day after a gunfight took place on the corner of 7th and Jefferson, and there are 2 separate gangs of hoodlums hanging out on opposing corners. They are smoking marijuana, drinking in public, being a general nuisance as far as blocking the sidewalk and streets and one car is illegally parked with music coming from it and people standing around drinking and smoking on it. It seems like MPD and the Mayor’s office aren’t even going to pretend to do anything to help prevent violence in this area after what took place last night, not even the B.S. light tower. Glad to know the citizens up here are being looked after by the officials paid to protect them! Time to move to the burbs

    • madmonk28

      This post makes an important point, Bowser and Lanier treat this bullshit as business as usual, they’re part of the problem.

      • facts

        Bowser and Lanier can’t fix the problem, because we lack effective prosecution (and have laws that coddle criminals). I’ve taken to routinely looking up victims and perpetrators on dccourts.gov and without fail they have histories of felonies that resulted in laughable prosecutions. From looking at about 50 of these records I’ve observed that they do throw the book at people who kill innocents or commit violent sexual assaults, but almost all other crimes result in negligible or nonexistent punishment.

        • madmonk28

          How clueless do Lanier and Bowser have to be for it not to occur to them that the day after a shootout on a corner not to have that corner flooded with cops. You have a poll showing crime is the #1 concern of residents and Bowser getting poor marks for her handling of crime and she doesn’t have the brain cells to tell Lanier to make life at least a little uncomfortable for the criminals terrorizing a neighborhood? They can’t even handle the task of appearing to give a shit.

          Do you think Cory Booker would have handled things differently? You can bet that he would have done something to make it clear that he was on the job, a lot of it might be theater, but Bowser is a mayor who sends out press releases when they predict an inch of snow, how about when there are shootouts in what was her ward before she was mayor.


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