Friday, June 19, 2009

More on yesterday's shooting


DSC_1019
Originally uploaded by wumpiewoo
Well, it was a pretty big day yesterday. Apparently it was gang related - the fracas started during an orientation session to the city's youth summer job program at the Convention Center, which sounds like a disaster - there were fights and police found a gun and brass knuckles. About 10 youths left on the Green line and were fighting on the train, then when they go to Columbia Heights, they came out of the station and that's when the shooting happened. Pretty insane.

There's also a lot of photos on Flickr, including these.

Here's what councilman Jim Graham had to say on the Columbia Heights listserve:

Dear FRiends, this has been all over the media. SO I am not going to describe in great detail what happened. Suffice it to say, that two persons (one the apparent intended victim and another who was grazed as an innocent bystander) were wounded. This is profoundly disturbing in an area where we have made such substantial progress in terms of jobs, prosperity and growth in the past few years.

Let me be clear about what I know from MPD and Metro Transit Police sources.

First, this was a beef between members of two youth gangs. They had been fighting since boarding the Metro train at the Convention Center. It finally spilled out on the street when they reached Col Hts, and the shooting occurred.

Second, they had attended--sad to say--a large meeting at the Convention Center for the summer youth employment program... something that is an important part of addressing the root causes of gang violence. (I am among the strongest supporters of the summer employment program., having established and funded --now in its 9th year--Ward One ProUrban Youth DC, which this summer has 600 Ward 1 youth registered in good summer jobs. I have had young gang members work in my office, with good results as part of this program.)

Third, there were various problems at the Convention Center. Metro Police tells me that they seized on the street one revolver and a pair of brass knuckles and that there were problems at various other stations.

Fourth, there were cameras, security, police, eyewitnesses all over the place at the Col Hts metro…all of that is being reviewed, and hopefully with all of that the shooter will be soon identified and arrested.

I support addressing the root causes of gang and youth violence. However, I am absolutely convinced that at least on a short term basis--and as part of a comprehensive approach --we need tougher criminal laws. That is why I voted yes on the Mayor's criminal injunction proposal this past Tuesday. More on that later today.

1 comment:

Mackenzie said...

I'm confused. When I walked by, the police and yellow tape were all over by Trinity Towers, not by the south west metro exit. You couldn't walk down the east side of the street because that sidewalk was closed off by cops. Walking on the west side of the street was fine. Nothing was going on there.

These photos and the articles all say it happened by Five Guys, which is on the west side. If that's the case, why was there no yellow tape on that side when I walked by at 3:20 but plenty of it on the other side?