Man dead, suspect shot by police in downtown DC

D.C. police are investigating a deadly shooting in the Chinatown/City Center area on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020. (WTOP/Mike Murillo)

A man has died and a suspect is in custody after a shooting Thursday evening in downtown D.C.

“For someone to do that 5 o’clock in the afternoon in this part of town is pretty brazen,” said D.C. police Chief Peter Newsham at a news conference Thursday night.

Just after 5 p.m., Newsham said a suspect shot a man in the in the 700 block of 8th Street Northwest, near the National Portrait Gallery. The victim was shot multiple times; he was taken to a hospital, where he died.

The suspect ran from the scene of the shooting, but officers in the area who heard gunshots ran after the suspect. They chased the suspect to the 700 block of 10th Street, where at least two officers exchanged gunfire with the suspect. The suspect was hit once, either in the hand or arm, Newsham said.

Still, the suspect kept running, into the 1000 block of H Street Northwest, where he was confronted by another officer. That’s when the suspect dropped his gun.

The suspect was arrested, and a handgun was recovered from the scene, Newsham said.

No officers were injured, and the suspect has injuries that are not life-threatening.

Investigators believe there was some kind of a dispute between the victim and the suspect, and the suspect pulled out a gun and shot the man.

“(A) shooting in this area is very unusual; this is a very, very safe part of town. This was what appears to be a very brazen act by a violent offender,” Newsham said. “Thankfully, our police officers were close enough to ensure that this person was quickly taken into custody.”

Newsham didn’t get into the details about how close the officers were, but he does believe the response was “almost immediate.” He called the officers’ actions “heroic.”

Police will also take a look at the multiple video cameras in the area, as they continue their investigation.

There were a number of road closures in the Chinatown area, including near the National Portrait Gallery, and by the Metro Center station. All roads reopened about midnight, WTOP’s Rich Hunter said.

A witness who heard the gunshots said she was with a group of people, waiting to cross the street, when she heard popping sounds and saw people running, WTOP’s Mike Murillo reported from the scene.

Jessi Quinn, a Georgetown resident who was in the area at the time, said she and some other people then took cover inside a building once they realized they had heard gunshots.

“Some people came in and said they saw people on the ground and then a lot of cops just started driving down,” Quinn said. “We saw a police officer running with a gun down the street and that’s kind of when we all turned and ran.”

WTOP’s Mike Jakaitis contributed to this report. 

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