WASHINGTON - Acting D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham said that the prognosis for both officers involved in Thursday night’s shooting is "excellent."
Newsham spoke with FOX 5 the morning after two police officers were wounded and a man was killed when gunfire broke out at an intersection in northeast Washington. The officers were said to be in stable condition Friday morning.
The Acting Chief said that D.C.'s Crime Suppression Team was in the area prior to the shooting after gunshots had been reported earlier in the evening. At the scene on Thursday, Newsham said a weapon was recovered which appears to belong to the suspect. He could not confirm that the officers were making an arrest at the time of the shooting, and said many of the details are still under investigation.
Newsham said it’s hard to criticize the officers who made the judgment call to transport the wounded to the hospital in their patrol car. “It is not the best practice to transport a shooting victim to the hospital by way of scout car,” he said. “But in the heat of the moment an officer made that decision. It's tough to criticize a judgment call like that.” He said that the decision will be reviewed.
"When one of your colleagues has been shot, they're facing a potentially life threatening injury, and your first instinct as a police officer really is to try and get them help - and so that's what they did."
It was a violent night in the District, with three shootings occurring in less than two hours in the Southeast's Ward 8. Police say four separate victims were injured in the shootings that happened within a half mile from each other along Wheeler Road in the Congress Heights area.
Thursday's shooting also happened the same day that Mayor Bowser announced she has chosen Newsham to be the permanent Chief of Police for the Metropolitan Police Department.
During his interview with FOX 5 on Friday, Newsham said under his leadership his aim will be to stop violence in the District. "We are not going to tolerate folks who think they can resort to the use of a firearm in our city. It's unsafe. It scares people unnecessarily."
He also told FOX 5 that there are in discussions involving D.C.'s City Council to determine how many D.C. police officers are needed on the force.