Police: 1 hospitalized after 3rd Street Tunnel shooting

A man was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries after he was shot following a crash in D.C.’s Third Street Tunnel.

It happened around 3 p.m. on the northbound lanes before Massachusetts Avenue.

Cmdr. Morgan Kane with D.C. police said in a news conference Tuesday evening that an SUV struck a sedan in the rear.

“Folks exited their vehicle, there was an argument that occurred on the scene of the accident, and a gun was introduced to this argument. And our complainant was actually shot,” Kane said.

The victim was the driver of the striking vehicle.

The suspect vehicle took off toward Massachusetts Avenue.

Police described the suspect vehicle as a four-door, dark-colored sedan with heavy damage to the rear. There are reports that it has a bike rack, but police did not confirm that during the news conference.

suspect vehicle
D.C. police are looking for this vehicle in connection to a shooting in the Third Street Tunnel on Tuesday, July 30, 2019. Click to enlarge. (Courtesy D.C. police via Twitter)

Mark Purvis, of D.C., was in the tunnel and said he witnessed the shooting. Purvis said that the driver of the suspect vehicle was a young woman and the passenger was a young man.

He said that the whole trunk of the suspect vehicle appeared smashed in, and it was open.

suspect vehicle
D.C. police are looking for this vehicle in connection to a shooting in the Third Street Tunnel on Tuesday, July 30, 2019. Click to enlarge. (Courtesy D.C. police via Twitter)

Purvis added that he saw the young woman get out of suspect vehicle and went toward the striking vehicle, whose occupants were still inside. A few moments later, the passenger of the suspect vehicle got out. Purvis then heard a pop, which he said sounded like a firecracker. He then saw the young man put a gun back in his pants.

Purvis said that he saw the driver and passenger of the suspect vehicle go back to their car, and then he said the striking vehicle moved over to the wall side and in front of the suspect vehicle. The suspect drove off, he said.

Kane said it was “unnecessary” and “tragic” that a simple vehicle accident could escalate into a shooting. “It’s very sad,” Kane said.

The investigation closed the northbound lanes, which affected the afternoon rush hour.

WTOP’s Bob Marbourg said that drivers were not able to go north toward New York Avenue, or take exits marked “U.S. Capitol” or “Massachusetts Avenue” from either the Southeast or the Southwest Freeway.

Lanes reopened just before 6:30 p.m.

Anyone with information about the crash or the shooting should call police at 202-727-9099. Police say the occupants of the suspect vehicle should be considered armed and dangerous.

Below is the area where the shooting happened.

WTOP’s Madeleine Simon contributed to this report.

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