DC police release photos of Metrobus shooting suspects

Police in D.C. have released photos of two suspects in a shooting that wounded three people, including two young children, outside a Metrobus in Northwest D.C. Wednesday afternoon.

A man who was also wounded in the gunfire is also now under arrest after police say he boarded the bus armed with knife and sparked the confrontation that led to the shooting.

The shooting happened shortly after 4 p.m. Wednesday near 14th Street and Fort Stevens Drive, after a fight broke out on a 54 bus heading north in the Brightwood neighborhood. The fight eventually spilled out on the sidewalk outside the bus, and shots were fired. A 6-year-old girl and a 9-year-old boy were wounded in the shooting, although their injuries were not believed to be life-threatening.

Police in D.C. have released photos of two suspects in a shooting that wounded three people, including two young children outside a Metrobus in Northwest D.C. Wednesday afternoon. (Courtesy D.C. police)

A third person, identified Thursday as 32-year-old Stephen Perdomo, of District Heights, Maryland, was also wounded in the gunfire, and police said it appears he instigated the confrontation aboard the bus.

In a news release Thursday, D.C. police said Perdomo boarded the bus at a stop armed with a knife and began assaulting someone. During the assault, several people exited the bus, where a still unknown suspect pulled out and fired multiple times.

Perdomo, whose injuries were not believed to be life-threatening either, walked to a nearby apartment complex before being located by officers. He has been charged with assault with a dangerous weapon in connection with carrying the knife aboard the bus, police said.

The shooting outraged D.C. leaders.

“All they were doing was riding the bus coming home from school,” D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said of the two young children who were shot. “When an idiot with a gun indiscriminately … shot two children.”

Addressing the shooter, D.C. police chief Robert Contee said, “Turn yourself in. You shot two children and that’s unacceptable.”

D.C. police released surveillance video footage of the two suspects entering the bus.

Praise for quick-thinking Metrobus driver

The head of Metro praised a bus driver Thursday for her quick-thinking actions after the shooting.

“That’s the incredible people that work at Metro,” Metro General Manager Randy Clarke said.

Clarke said that after the children were injured, the driver gathered them back on the bus and drove them a few blocks away to a safer place.

“She saw what was happening, quickly got the victims – plus others that were in danger – back on that bus,” Clarke said. “Medics and police were able to go to the new location of the bus and look after those victims.”

Clarke called the shooting “sickening,” “deplorable” and “unacceptable.”

While Clarke said that Metro employees were doing “everything humanly possible” to keep riders safe, he acknowledged that violence has been spilling into the Metro system.

“We have an epidemic of gun violence,” Clarke said. “As a community, we need to figure out how to come together and stop this.”

Wednesday’s shooting happened near the area where a week earlier, one man was killed and three others, including a child, were shot.

Community response

About 50 residents attended Thursday night’s monthly meeting between D.C. police officials and the Brightwood Community Association. Some called for curfews, cameras and gated communities.

Kim Patterson, the group’s vice president and an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner, said “a lot of neighbors mentioned that we don’t like that when the police are in our neighborhood, they just sit parked in their car on their phone.”

D.C. police told community members that all police should be engaging with the community.

Earlier this week, Patterson said, the community had a nearly two-and-a-half hour meeting to discuss safety, after a shooting on Georgia Avenue last Tuesday.

“The room was packed at the meeting and all the officials were there,” Patterson said. “We talked for almost two-and-a-half hours. And the very next day, at 4 in the afternoon, another shooting just blocks away.”

One person who was on the Metrobus on Wednesday night said she’s no longer taking the bus, Patterson said.

“She said it’s a bus filled with mothers and their children,” Patterson said. “She’s like, ‘I thought it was the safe bus, but apparently I was wrong.’”

Most people in the neighborhood have cameras and security systems on their homes, Patterson said, “but other than that, I don’t really know much that an individual citizen can do.”

WTOP’s Nick Iannelli and Scott Gelman contributed to this report. 

Jack Moore

Jack Moore joined WTOP.com as a digital writer/editor in July 2016. Previous to his current role, he covered federal government management and technology as the news editor at Nextgov.com, part of Government Executive Media Group.

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up