Northeast DC residents upset over police report's classification of shooting incident

- Gunfire in a Northeast D.C. neighborhood Sunday afternoon has left many residents upset.

It was not long after noon when numerous shots were fired at the intersection of 8th Street and Maryland Avenue.

Residents showed us the aftermath with pictures showing shattered glass and bullet holes in rear windows and the interior of vehicles.

Neighbors were so upset that they called for a public meeting Tuesday night.

“This was really just a miracle that somebody wasn't hit,” said Ali Noorani.

When he looked at the police report on the incident, he was surprised to see the crime was listed as "DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY - FELONY.”

“Most concerning about this is that they still don't know what happened,” he said. “In fact, for the Metropolitan Police Department to call this a destruction of property I think -- is it misleading the public?”

We looked at the report and the narrative does talk about damage to vehicles by gunshots. It points out seven casings and two bullet fragments were found at the scene.

“At the end of the day, what is the line between destruction of property and seven bullets and hitting a person?” said Noorani.

We asked D.C. Councilmember Charles Allen why the case was classified simply as destruction of property.

“Every time I've had a conversation with the commander for that area, he described it as a shooting,” said Allen. “It's pretty clear it’s a shooting. The destruction of property came from a gun and so that’s what is unacceptable and we'll certainly make sure it’s very clear this is a shooting.”

Residents even referred to us a crime report online that lists most crimes within 1,000 feet of Maryland Avenue and 8th Street over the last year. There is a category for assaults with a dangerous weapon, but there is nothing for destruction of property.

We also spoke with Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie, who said his office is looking into how all crime is reported in the city.

D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier told us if someone does come forward to say they witnessed this shooting, it will be reclassified. But she said this report was done according to current code.

This is not the first time we have heard about an issue with a classification of a crime. A few weeks ago, FOX 5 reported on a story about a D.C. man who was attacked and slashed on the face.

He said while he was in the hospital room with his face being stitched up, there was a conversation by the police on whether to consider his assault a simple assault or a felony. In that case, the officer with him insisted that it be classified as a felony assault.

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