‘Mad as hell’: DC police chief reacts to gun violence at scene of 14th Street shooting

The day after a shooting near Logan Circle wounded two men and sent outdoor diners along 14th Street ducking for cover, D.C. police released new video of the suspects and returned to the popular strip to reassure members of the community and call for a tougher approach to combating crime.

On Friday afternoon, D.C. Police Chief Robert Contee led a public safety walk along 14th Street, where Thursday night’s shooting occurred. There he addressed the public’s concerns over gun violence in the District.

“People are really mad as hell, and I don’t blame them — I am too,” Contee said.

New video footage

The video released by police Friday afternoon depicts a clearer image of the first suspect, who is wearing a lime green/yellow hoodie and appears to be pointing their gun at a blurred image.

Then it shows both suspects, one in the lime green/yellow hoodie and the other in a black hoodie, fleeing to an older black sedan with a standby driver. The car was spotted driving eastbound toward S Street.

The shooting occurred Thursday evening near the intersection of 14th and Riggs streets in Northwest. People in the area sought out safety after hearing sounds of gunshots.

The two men who were shot are expected to survive, according to police. Police said it appears one of the men may have been targeted and the other was a bystander.

Returning to the scene

During the walk-through Friday afternoon, Contee spoke to business owners and residents. He was joined by several other city officials.

In impassioned remarks, he called for stronger accountability for people who commit violent crimes.

“I’ve been in this city for 30 years. This is the same movie when I was a boy growing up here,” he said, referring to the days when D.C. was known as the “murder capital” of the U.S. “When are we going to do something different? … What does not happen here is accountability? People are not ready to have that conversation. ”

Contee added, “When I start talking about accountability, people start talking mass incarceration. I’m not talking about mass incarceration. I’m talking about holding people accountable who make our communities unsafe.”

When asked about safety precautions for the forthcoming weekend, which is expected to be busy as the forecast predicts nice weather, Contee said police will be out monitoring the area and will use “every available resource” that they have but otherwise did not give specifics about safety precautions.

WTOP’s Mike Murillo spoke with Ward 2 D.C. Council member Brooke Pinto at the scene of the shooting along 14th Street about the past week’s shootings.

“The truth is that gun violence is happening in our city and across our country every single day. And the illegal ghost guns that we see are a huge part of that problem,” she said, referring to guns assembled from kits without serial numbers.

“I think people are scared, they’re worried and they want to know what they can do to help,” Pinto added.

She went on to say that dozens of neighbors and business owners showed up to be a part of the solution. “There’s a real sense of community action and obligation,” she said.

Mayor Muriel Bowser joined Contee at a news conference Thursday night at the scene of the Logan Circle shooting and said: “We have to press on everything that we know about stopping crime right now, it won’t be one single thing. And I say to them … I will repeat what I said, we need to get to people before they use their guns. That’s how we prevent it.”

This shooting comes at a time when there are heightened concerns over gun violence within the District. On Saturday three people were injured in a shooting outside Nationals Park and last Friday a 6-year-old was shot and killed in Southeast D.C.

Police are still searching for the suspects and ask anyone with information to call them at 202-727-9099 or 50411.

WTOP’s Abigail Constantino, Alicia Abelson and Mike Murillo contributed to this report.

Hannah Parker

Hannah Parker is a writer and editor for WTOP. She is most interested in covering social issues in the D.C. area and is always looking for news tips and story ideas.

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