Just back from a vacation in bucolic Maine, it's been a little bit of an adjustment to get back to the realities of our beloved Shaw. Had to run by the house this afternoon, and saw that the 500 block of P Street was closed off with police tape. I didn't have time to stop and inquire, but my immediate thought was that there had been another shooting. Right-on. Here's the preliminary police report, thanks to Cary Silverman and the Mt. Vernon Square Blog.
On 9-14-07, at about 1115 hour gunfire erupted at 9th and P Street, NW. Investigation revealed that no one was injured. Shell casings were recovered 500 P St. NW. Damage to Property reports were taken in the 400 P Street, NW for a car and a home. A witness observed a black male (unknown description) shooting from a car at an unknown subject. We also recovered a Ford Focus vehicle possibly involved in this shooting. The vehicle was towed by police for pending an investigation. Also, the cameras were working at 5th and O and will be reviewed. We will continue to combat crime through partnerships with the community and arresting subjects who are responsible for these acts.
I will prepare a PSA action plan for this area and your input will be needed.
The light truck will be set up in the 400 P Street NW
PSA officers will give special attention on all tours of duty in the target areas.
A Directive Patrol Post will also be established in the block.
[Update: Spoke to one witness who said there was another guy with the shooter and they were on foot. After firing the shots, they reportedly walked rather casually toward 6th Street. It happened about 11:35. Pictures and more info at Kevin Chapple's site (thanks, Martin)]
By coincidence, we were talking this morning with a neighbor from 5th Street while we were all out walking our dogs, and she said there had been another shoot-em-up in the early morning hours last Saturday at the 2nd NW Coop. (We were still away then, but I hadn't heard anything about this one.) Evidently, no one was hit but she said several cars were damaged by the fusillade.
WTF?! It's hard to know where to lay the blame for this situation. I really don't want to fault the police, though I think there are some things that might be done to help prevent this--like getting Shotspotter in our neighborhood (Lord knows there's enough gunfire to justify it!). The 911/311 system is a cruel joke. But if the cops catch the thugs responsible for it, what happens? According to the police themselves, there's little chance of serious punishment for a first offender caught with an illegal weapon, especially if he's a juvenile. And if the gangstas are kids, what are their parents doing? I know parenthood is no picnic, and peer pressure is tough to fight, but in the end it comes down to mothers and, yes, fathers to instill in their children some positive values and ambition to take advantage of the opportunities that exist in this city. And, of course, the community needs to help. I fully support my blogger colleague over at Off Seventh in his campaign to get some serious attention to this neighborhood from the city council, the mayor, the police, and the schools to try to turn this around.