DC Safe Passage worker killed in shooting near Coolidge High School

An employee of D.C.’s Safe Passage initiative died after being shot Monday, and police are still looking for suspects.

Police say the man, identified as Michael Gaddis, 36, of  Northwest D.C., worked with the Safe Passage Safe Blocks program, which aims to keep kids safe as they travel to and from school.

The shooting happened after an argument on Monday afternoon at the intersection of 5th Street and Somerset Place NW in front of Coolidge High School. Three schools in the immediate area — in addition to Coolidge, Ida B. Wells Middle School and Whittier Elementary School — were placed on lockdown for about an hour.

“Gun violence as a whole is unacceptable,” D.C. police Cmdr. Carlos Heraud said in a news briefing Monday evening. “Anytime it hits this close to our children, it’s even more egregious. Children should be able to come to school, be safe out there while at school and leave school safely.”

The incident marks the second time in less than a week that Coolidge and Whittier have been placed on alert due to a nearby shooting. Police responded to gunfire in the 6400 block of 5th Street NW on Friday.

Police believe the suspect in Monday’s shooting fled the scene in a vehicle. After law enforcement secured the area, students were dismissed away from the crime scene.

“We are out in the neighborhood trying to obtain more footage to try to get a better picture of exactly what occurred,” Heraud added. “As soon as we do have any kind of description (of the suspect), we can release to the public. We’ll make sure we get that out.”

Below is where police said the shooting happened.

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated following the death of the victim. 

Alejandro Alvarez

Alejandro Alvarez joined WTOP as a digital journalist and editor in June 2018. He is a reporter and photographer focusing on politics, political activism and international affairs.

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