“Cherry Blossoms and Gun Shots”

by Prince Of Petworth March 10, 2016 at 2:00 pm 28 Comments

9th and Jefferson St, NW

A reader reports just after 1:15pm:

“9 shots fired. Cops blocked the street off. Someone’s car is full of holes, back window shattered. Ambulance took someone. there are shell casings everywhere.”


Another frustrated reader notes the presence of a crime camera at 8th and Jefferson:

“Why do they want to pay us to install cameras when they don’t monitor their own?”




  • Dopy Tipster

    1:30pm… WTF???

  • I’m honestly trying to find the words to express how I feel about this. Exasperation? Anger? I love living in the city, and I mostly love our neighborhood, but these things happening, especially in the middle of the day, is making me question whether we can stay long term. I don’t like to pull the “think of the children” card, but my husband and I are responsible for keeping our kid safe. If things don’t start improving, especially since Jefferson between 7th and 9th is a well-known issue, I’m not sure I can reconcile staying with that responsibility.

    • HaileUnlikely

      I hate to be a pessimist, but I generally am one. I wouldn’t give up on the whole city altogether just yet, but as you well know, the issues in this area are deeply rooted and in my opinion likely intractable.

      • I wouldn’t want to give up on the city altogether, but the reality is that the neighborhoods that are better crime-wise are just not affordable for us. We’ve been in our house a few blocks from here for 4 years now, continually hoping it will get better the whole time, listening to promises from police and community leaders. I’m generally a pessimist myself, but I try to be optimistic for my neighborhood, and I’m not sure I can be anymore.

        • HaileUnlikely

          Although the following is changing rapidly and may not be true for much longer, there are still neighborhoods where both housing prices and incidence of midday gunfire tend to be substantially lower than the corner of Petworth where this sh!t goes down way too often. The northern-most corner of Takoma (vicinity of Friday’s GDoN) and the part of Lamond Riggs where Mayor Bowser lives (or used to live?) come to mind in this regard.

  • buyer

    This corner has been a problem for a long time. Almost bought a house near here, but glad we chose elsewhere in Petworth now.

  • stacksp

    Grabbed this from a similar post about week ago on this blog regarding a shooting at 8th and Jefferson I believe.


    Pretty safe bet that this block is an open air drug market. Growing up, 1st, 7th and 9th and Kennedy used to be the corners where drugs were sold. Now it appears that they moved off the main strip. As long as someone is out there making money selling drugs, there will be people that will want that territory and client base.

  • Anony

    Good point about the Crime Camera. There is also one on the SW corner of Georgia and Morton which had a stabbing there two days ago in broad daylight. That should make it super easy to catch the criminal in near real time right?

  • say what

    Right about now CM Nadeau can accuse Pop of “fear mongering” on his blog, CM Todd will do nothing. So carry on, folks, business as usual. No one will react until a young child is killed when one of those bullets goes through a renovated row house.

    • anoone

      God forbid!

  • Anon

    I took these pictures. Well, some of them. I just happened to be at home today in the middle of the day when this happened. It took maybe 10 minutes for the police to arrive. It was a significant enough delay that my neighbor and I wondered if anyone had bothered to call 911. A comcast truck pulled up and we thought reporters were there to cover the story. Nope. Nobody covered it. Because it’s not news. I paid a King’s ransom to buy a row house here so I could stay in the city, and I’m CONSTANTLY calling in gunshots.

    Also if you look closely at the picture, you can see the little evidence tags over the shell casings, which are on BOTH sides of the street. It’s not at all paranoid to think that one of the errant bullets is going to go through one of our windows one day.

    • Also Anon

      I am home teleworking today, about a block from 9th and Jefferson. I called immediately upon the end of the shots (I was trying to count), but didn’t hear sirens until a few minutes later, either. I’ve called before in the years we’ve lived here, and generally MPD responds quickly. We had a shooting behind the house across the street from us last summer, and the police were there literally before I hung up the phone with 911. Not saying it really means anything, it just hasn’t been typical in my experience. Jefferson Street is so frustrating.

    • smh

      How could you be wondering if anyone called 911 if you called them yourself? Or did you for some reason not call 911?

      • Anon

        these are two different people talking. I said I wondered if anyone had called 911, and then another person said that he/she called 911

        • Anon

          I had come outside because my neighbor was on her porch hysterical. I talked to her for a few minutes assuming someone had already called 911. When no cops had arrived, I turned around to go back into the house to get my phone and call, but then I saw cops arriving.

  • Nycnate

    What drug(s) are being sold? Isn’t weed legal? Are crack and heroin brazenly sold on the street?

    • Also Anon

      Yes. Crack, Heroin, PCP– all are still used at high levels in the city.

    • Also Anon

      From the sound of the comment listed above with the picture, it sounds like the mere presence of a camera should allow MPD to predict when crime is about to happen. There are officers monitoring these cameras (all over the city, not just this one) all the time, but they can still only be used in a reactive way. Hopefully they will allow officers to see which direction a suspect goes, as well as get pictures of the suspect/footage of the crime, but it’s not like it makes the officers psychics.

    • Mojotron

      Primarily PCP (dipped cigarettes) and synthetic cannabinoids (typically AB-FUBINACA or AB-PINANCA) , some heroin and cocaine. A little bit of weed, almost no bath salts, ecstasy, or meth.

  • Ray

    Isn’t this Petworth, not Brightwood Park?

    • Yes, though that has been constantly debated here. However it is generally accepted that Kennedy is the northern border of Petworth.

      • Anon

        Yes, it’s the top of pet worth. The deed to my house and my mortgage paperwork both say Petworth. Kennedy and North are Brightwood.

  • Brightwoodian

    And were putting the Ward 4 homeless shelter less then 3 or 4 blocks from me. That is a huge part of why I object to having a homeless shelter built here. Not to mention, if DC doesn’t care enough to put the shelter in a safe location, how can I trust them to run the shelter properly. It is pathetic the way the DC’s government handles crime in this city. It is a damn shame. If we were really going to take care of DC’s most vulnerable citizens why would we put them in the most dangerous part of Ward 4?

  • Dan

    Just curious, did our Ward 4 Councilmember Brandon Todd, Police Chief Cathy Lanier, and Mayor Muriel Bowser show up on the seen today?

    • stacksp

      There’s been like 6 or 7 shootings in the last 24/48 hours. Are they expected to be at the crime scene of all them? 3 shootings in SE overnight

  • Vered

    Ward 4 Commander Wil Manlapaz has said in numerous public meetings that the police cameras are constantly moving all over the area and are not trained on any one spot. Therefore a camera might not be aimed at the spot where the shooter is standing, although it might pick up useful information about criminal activity.

    BTW, the police are not in a position to monitor the cameras full time given their current staff scarcity. Cameras help the police ***after*** the incident has occurred, not to alert the police while it is occurring.

    That is why the police have been asking residents and businesses to buy their own cameras (for which the city has allocated funds to assist). Private cameras are trained on one spot, generally in front of or behind a house, or business, and when they capture a package theft, break-in, whatever else, they give the police the best and clearest images of the criminal. If you take city money to help pay for the camera you must agree to share the camera footage of a crime in progress with the MPD.

    If you’d like to learn more about all this, look up your Police Service Area (PSA) here:
    and then find the schedule of your PSA’s public meetings, and get out and attend them.

    It’s truly deplorable that these events continue to plague us. As a previous commenter noted, the problems in the community are very deeply rooted and are not easily or quickly ameliorated.

    Still, I think it is grossly unfair to sit at a computer and complain and find fault with the police and their equipment on the PoPsville blog if you haven’t made it your business to learn about what is happening in your own community. While yer at it, hit your ANC meeting once in awhile, why doncha. You want to criticize, fine, but criticize knowledgeably.

    Nancy E. Roth
    Commissioner, ANC 4D01

    • Dopy Tipster

      Nancy, we were introduced by an email in September. I never heard back from you.
      This is your ANC territory right?
      That camera was facing down the street and should have caught the whole shooting, why can’t we ask who reviews this?
      I have sat in ANC meetings, and still have shootings in front of my house, while me and my 9month old child sit in the back.
      I criticize because I am living it!

  • stacksp

    Horrid conditions at this apt building on 9th and Kennedy.



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