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Officers who shot and killed man in DC were under fire, chief says

D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham speaks at Joint Operations Command Center on Wednesday. (WTOP/John Aaron)

WASHINGTON — Two officers opened fire and killed a man who shot at them Tuesday evening, D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham said Wednesday.

At a news conference, Newsham said uniformed officers in marked cruisers were patrolling in the 3700 block of 1st Street in Southeast, near South Capitol Street, on Tuesday.

They approached Marqueese Alston, 22, of Temple Hills, Maryland, just after 7 p.m. The police said in a statement that they believed he had a gun. Alston ran off, and several officers chased him on foot.

Newsham said Alston ran to an alley, where he pulled out a gun and began shooting at the pursuing officers. The two officers then returned fire, killing Alston, Newsham said.

A semi-automatic handgun as well as an extended magazine with live ammunition was recovered.

Newsham said Alston was under court supervision and wearing a GPS monitoring bracelet after serving time for armed robbery.

No officers or bystanders were injured.

“I can tell you that we have a pretty significant amount of evidence to suggest that the decedent in this case was armed, he was a felon, he was under supervision and he fired at our police officers, and to save their lives, the police officers returned fire,” Newsham said.

Because of recent violence in Ward 8, Newsham said that police have “pledged to that community that we are going to precisely target illegal firearms and repeat violent offenders.”

He said officers were working to remove illegal forearms from the community Tuesday night, “and this incident is an example of exactly how extremely dangerous this can be.”

Deputy Mayor Kevin Donahue said there is body camera footage of the incident.

He said the mayor’s office is in the process of reviewing whether the video can be publicly released without compromising the investigation. He said the shooting itself is being reviewed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.


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