The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — A gunman sprayed bullets from a moving vehicle into a crowd in southeastern Washington, killing four and wounding at least five others, before leading police on a chase into neighboring Maryland.
Three people were arrested in the drive-by shooting Tuesday. The D.C. councilman who represents the area said a dispute between groups in the neighborhood apparently caused the shooting.
Six men and three women were hit by the gunfire around 7:30 p.m., said D.C. Police Department spokesman Officer Hugh Carew. Fire Department spokesman Pete Piringer says all were in their 20s and 30s, except for one teenager.
By late Tuesday, one victim had died at the scene, a second was pronounced dead at the hospital and the third died in the operating room, hospital officials said. Police spokeswoman Gwendolyn Crump said early the next day that the fourth victim had died.
Four D.C. officers were slightly injured while chasing a suspect's vehicle into neighboring Prince George's County in Maryland, authorities said. A weapon was also recovered.
The Washington Post reported that police pursued a van from the scene, aided by a helicopter.
Police had cleared the scene Wednesday morning, but there were still five police cruisers parked outside a brick garden-style apartment building on a main road that links the area to downtown. There was gauze and a blood-covered gauze package on the sidewalk, which was wet and smelled of bleach.
The shootings were in a neighborhood near a water treatment plant and Bolling Air Force Base and about seven miles from the White House. D.C. Councilman Phil Mendelson said that the area where the shooting happened is known for drugs and related violence.
"It's not a stranger to violent activity, unfortunately," said Mendelson, the chairman of the D.C. Council's Committee on Public Safety and the Judiciary.
D.C. Councilman Marion Barry, a former mayor who now represents the area of the city where the shootings occurred, called the attack a vicious crime. Barry, who had been briefed by police, said it appears "crews" - groups of friends who are not necessarily organized as gangs - had some sort of dispute with each other.
"I'm saddened. I'm outraged. I'm angry," Barry said. "We have a tough enough reputation anyway," he said of his district in southeast Washington.
He said he was worried about further retaliation between groups, but that he had been assured by police they would "pull out every stop they can."
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Washington reported 143 homicides last year, the fewest in nearly 50 years.