Student robbed at gunpoint outside DC high school

A Northwest D.C. high school student was robbed at gunpoint on his way into school Thursday morning, triggering a lockdown at the school and two others nearby. The District’s public schools chancellor was visiting the school when the lockdown occurred.

At a news conference, the Metropolitan Police Department said that just before 10 a.m. Thursday, suspects in a Black Infiniti SUV pulled up in front of Coolidge High School on 5th Street NW.

“The driver of that suspect vehicle got out armed with a firearm, approached the student and demanded his property. The student did comply by turning over his property,” said D.C. police Cmdr. Carlos Heraud.

When the suspects returned to the vehicle, one of them allegedly fired a shot toward the ground, then fled the scene, according to a news release from MPD.

Police said they are still investigating those reports.

“We did get several calls from the gunshots. We are still reviewing video and speaking to witnesses,” Heraud said. “What we do know is that the shot was not directed at the school or at the victim. The suspect may have negligently discharged a firearm as he was returning back to the suspect vehicle.”

There have been no injuries reported from the incident.

Police have released surveillance photos of the suspects and their vehicle.

Shooting suspects
D.C. police have released surveillance photos of suspects from an alleged shooting at Coolidge High School in northwest D.C. (MPD)
Surveillance footage of a car driven by suspects in the alleged shooting at Coolidge High School in Northwest D.C. (MPD)

Police said it’s unclear if the shooter and the student knew each other, or if the man was just after the teen’s jacket, which was the only thing he took.

D.C. School Chancellor Dr. Lewis Ferebee had been visiting the school when the lockdown occurred.

“I’ve talked with several students in the building today — I was here for a visit — and students have a sense of safety here and they understand the adults are here to protect them,” he said.

“You don’t want these incidents to happen, it’s very unfortunate, very concerning, but it is also good to see that our procedures are being followed.”

Ferebee said both Coolidge and nearby Ida B. Wells Middle School had been placed on lockdown during the incident. As a precaution, Whittier Elementary School was placed on safety alert.

Megan Cloherty

WTOP Investigative Reporter Megan Cloherty primarily covers breaking news, crime and courts.

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