Washington, D.C., shooting at outdoor party leaves 1 dead, about 20 injured
A dispute that erupted into gunfire during a large outdoor party in Washington, D.C., early Sunday left one person dead and some 20 others injured, including an off-duty officer “struggling for her life,” according to police.
Christopher Brown, 17, died in the shooting that occurred after midnight in a southeast side neighborhood where people had gathered for music and food, Peter Newsham, the chief of the Metropolitan Police Department, said.
“There was some kind of a dispute,” Newsham said. “Multiple weapons were produced.” He said a motive for the shooting wasn’t clear.
Police said at least three shooters may have been involved, though no arrests were immediately announced. Newsham said a motive for the shooting wasn’t clear.
The off-duty officer was taken by fellow officers to a local hospital, Newsham said.
“She’s struggling for her life right now,” he said. He added that “the rest of the gunshot wounds, as far as we know, are non-life-threatening.”
Nelson Bostic, a resident in the area, told WTOP-FM he heard a burst of rapid gunfire, then saw “people laying on the ground” and “ducking under cars.”
“It was terrible,” he said.
There may have been hundreds of attendees at the party despite city restrictions during the coronavirus outbreak on such large gatherings.
“We can’t tolerate these types of gatherings in our city during COVID-19,” Newsham said. “It’s just too dangerous.”
Mayor Muriel Bowser, speaking to reporters near the scene of the shooting, noted that public drinking and marijuana use outside were prohibited, as were gatherings of more than 50 people as a precaution against spreading the coronavirus.
“It’s very important that as a community we have a zero tolerance for this activity,” she said. Bowser added that police will have to make some “difficult decisions” and “break up these events.”
The gathering had been advertised on fliers as the “34th-n-EAT” cookout that would start late Saturday, the Washington Post reported. It would, the flier added, be a “drama free event.”
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