13 injured in drive-by shooting in D.C.'s NoMa neighborhood

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Local,DC,Crime,Scott McCabe,Naomi Jagoda

A resurgent D.C. neighborhood was awakened to a grim reality early Monday when a drive-by shooting left 13 people injured, one critically.

The violence erupted around 2:10 a.m. Monday in front of Tyler House, a low-income apartment complex that sits at the edge of the NoMa neighborhood -- short for North of Massachusetts Avenue, and so named to evoke the trendy SoHo shopping areas of New York and London.

Police have released video showing two vehicles driving by the apartments on North Capitol Street, and at least one of the cars had occupants that fired into the group. One of the vehicles was initially described as a BMW, although police now believe that may not be the case. The other vehicle was described as a silver or gray sedan.

Thirteen people were taken to hospitals, though police have said they are not sure how many of them were shot. Most of the gunshot wounds were to the victims' legs, feet and hands, though one person was shot in the lower back.

The area where the shooting occurred was once the site of a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant that served customers through a bulletproof Lazy Susan. The turnaround neighborhood now boasts an upscale Harris Teeter grocery store, a Starbucks coffee shop and trendy food trucks serving lunches.

National Public Radio is moving its headquarters to a new location one block away from the site of the drive-by violence. The Washington Post is rumored to be looking for a new home close by after announcing plans last month to sell its headquarters on 15th and L streets NW.

"It's scary, but it's gotten better," said a 55-year-old woman who lives in the housing complex directly south of Tyler House.

She said she was watching the movie "Dirty Dancing" at home early Monday when she heard dozens of gunshots. She yelled to her blind 84-year-old grandmother to get out of bed and onto the floor.

She was hopeful that new construction in the neighborhood would bring an end to the violence.

"It makes the difference if you got the money," she said.

But one 32-year-old Tyler House resident wasn't so optimistic. She pointed to the condominiums being built directly across the street from the site of Monday's shooting, and shook her head.

"It's like putting a jail in front of the White House," she said.

Tyler House, one of three notorious public housing complexes clustered together, sits at the corner of North Capitol Street and New York Avenue, where seven people -- including a 14-year-old boy -- were shot on consecutive weekends in October.

Robin-Eve Jasper, president of the NoMa Business Improvement District, said Monday that she didn't think the violence would affect the neighborhood's commercial core.

"I don't expect it will be much affected by the kind of 'beefing' going on at and around Tyler House," Jasper said.

D.C. police were looking into whether the shooting was connected to an altercation at a nightclub less than half a block away. The nightclub had closed its doors a few minutes earlier.

D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier said it's possible shots were fired by someone in the crowd. One of the victims appeared to be 17 years old, and the rest were adult men and women, police said.

"Thank goodness nobody was killed," Assistant Police Chief Peter Newsham said.

As many as 60 or 70 shots were fired, according to one detective who agreed to speak to The Washington Examiner on condition of anonymity because he did not have permission to speak publicly about the incident. A glass pane was shattered at a Metro bus shelter across the street.

John Perkins, 35, a lawyer from Arkansas who is now interning at the nearby Federal Energy Regulatory Commission offices, stopped for lunch at the Flavors of India food truck one block away at lunchtime Monday.

"I'm shocked," Perkins said. "I didn't realize we were so near a bad neighborhood."

njagoda@washingtonexaminer.com


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Author:

Scott McCabe

Staff Writer - Crime
The Washington Examiner
Author:

Naomi Jagoda

Staff reporter
The Washington Examiner