Edmund Burke School reopens for 1st time since Van Ness shooting

Students at Edmund Burke School in Northwest D.C. returned to class Wednesday for the first time since a sniper attack in their neighborhood nearly two weeks ago. (WTOP/Nick Iannelli)

Students at Edmund Burke School in Northwest D.C. returned to class Wednesday for the first time since a sniper attack in their neighborhood nearly two weeks ago.

“I think it really demonstrates the resilience of our city,” said Robert Contee, the District’s police chief. “D.C. is a strong city, and we have strong communities, and we have strong people in these communities.”

Students gathered in one big group at an athletic field for a ceremony and then walked to school together, parading down the street in a show of unity.

Edmund Burke School is an independent college preparatory school located in the 4100 block of Connecticut Avenue Northwest.

“While our investigation continues, we know that our work is not done,” Contee said. “We want to certainly make sure that the kids feel some sense of comfort and support.”

The attack April 22 in the Van Ness neighborhood left four people injured. Police say a man sprayed bullets indiscriminately from the fifth floor of an apartment building.

Police identified the shooter as Raymond Spencer, a 23-year-old man who they believe took his own life as police closed in on him.

The investigation into Spencer’s motive is ongoing, Contee said.

Spencer reportedly fired over 200 shots and had 800 more rounds of ammunition in reserve.

Investigators said that Spencer had four long guns and two handguns, and that three of the long guns were “constructed so they were fully automatic.”

Students gathered in one big group at an athletic field for a ceremony and then walked to school together, parading down the street in a show of unity. (WTOP/Nick Iannelli)

All four victims were clustered around Edmund Burke School — either standing outside or waiting in cars for pickup.

Contee said Spencer had “a little command center” set up in the bathroom of the apartment, with a laptop, cellphone, pillow and blankets, as well as a camera set up in the hallway to see the police coming.

From a window, he unloaded rifles up and down Connecticut Avenue, with bullets flying thousands of yards — perhaps as far as Cleveland Park, Contee said.

Nick Iannelli

Nick Iannelli can be heard covering developing and breaking news stories on WTOP.

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