WASHINGTON (AP) — Six people were injured in five separate shootings on Halloween night in a spasm of violence that Mayor Vincent Gray called “troubling.”
The shootings occurred over several hours and throughout the city and even in upscale Georgetown, where violent crime is rare and where a 17-year-old boy who was shot late at night remained in critical condition Tuesday. The remaining five victims — four of them teenagers — had non-life threatening injuries, said Police Chief Cathy Lanier.
An unidentified man was arrested minutes after the Georgetown shooting and charged with carrying a pistol without a license, police said. The chief said the investigation remained active and she would not say if that person would be charged in the shooting.
Though Georgetown is typically home to large Halloween celebrations, Lanier said it wasn’t clear if the holiday factored
into the shootings at all. She said police had prepared for large gatherings on Halloween.
“We anticipated much larger crowds than we actually saw,” she added.
The victim and suspect knew each other in three of the shootings, Lanier said, and two of the shootings occurred within
blocks of each other and are believed to be related.
Lanier said October tends to be a violent month in the district, perhaps because the baggy and layered clothing worn as the weather gets cold makes it easier to conceal a weapon. There were 13 homicides in the month, one fewer than in October 2010, police said.
“Having a handgun available to you, if an argument occurs, is always a recipe for disaster,” Lanier said.
In the first shooting of the night, a 16-year-old boy who was walking in Northeast Washington was shot by a suspect described as wearing dark clothes and a ski mask. About 45 minutes later, another 16-year-old boy and a 19-year-old woman were shot in the leg, though there’s no description of the shooter in that case.
About an hour later, and just blocks away, an 18-year-old woman was shot in the ankle. And in the final shooting of the night, a 44-year-old Maryland man was shot in the leg in southeast Washington early Tuesday, police said.
The Georgetown shooting occurred just before 11 p.m. Monday. The 17-year-old was the worst wounded of all the shooting victims, and police were still interviewing witnesses Tuesday who may have seen the shooting — which occurred on a busy block of a bustling neighborhood.
Gray said it was small comfort that most of the shooting victims were not seriously wounded.
“I think that’s less the point — more the point is the number of shootings that took place and obviously the availability of
guns,” he said.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)