WASHINGTON - The District encountered a spike in violence Monday afternoon after two people were killed and three others were wounded in several shootings throughout the city.
The first shooting happened at around 12:57 p.m in Southeast D.C. on Texas Avenue after a verbal altercation occurred behind a Valero gas station, according to police. A man identified as 22-year-old Tayvon Devonte Cummings, of Southeast, D.C., was fatally shot in an alley behind the gas station. The shooting led to a temporary lockdown of Plummer Elementary School nearby.
A witness to the shooting, who has been questioned by police, told FOX 5 that he was standing in the alley smoking a cigarette when he saw a scuffle break out. He said within seconds, he saw the victim on his knees with a gun in his hands firing at someone toward Benning Road. Then, he was on the ground wounded by gunfire.
The witness said he then watched a man run up, take the gun that fell from the wounded man's hands and ran up the alley.
As word spread, a large crowd gathered across the street. Family and friends who heard about the shooting came to the Benco Shopping Center across from the crime scene. Some collapsed in tears while others had to be held back from running across Benning Road.
Police took several people in for questioning.
At one point, about an hour or so after the shooting, an altercation broke out in the shopping center and dozens of people scattered, running in several different directions. Anyone with information about this case is asked to call the police at (202) 727-9099.
There have been 20 homicides in Ward 7 so far this year -- 12 more at this point last year.
"It's getting out of hand," said Ward 7 Councilmember Yvette Alexander. "I'm glad Mayor [Muriel] Bowser was very responsive, but we need to come up with a plan of action because our residents want some assurance that they are safe in their community as they should be. So we need to come up with a plan of action because I know the summer is approaching us and a lot of our young people will be out of school. So we have concerns and our concerns definitely have to be addressed."
"We got to get more people out here on foot," said former Mayor Vincent Gray, who is running for the D.C. Council seat in Ward 7 against Alexander. "We got to get more organizations involved in this. We got to get our citizens, our residents to stand up and say enough is enough. This is an outrage that this kind of thing would happen, period. But then happened in broad daylight?"
Police said a woman was killed in a shooting at 49th and B Streets in Southeast D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier said Monday night that this shooting and the homicide case on Texas Avenue are preliminarily connected. Lanier said a small red Honda car was seen fleeing the scene after the shooting at around 3:30 p.m.
Witnesses told FOX 5's Marina Marraco the victim in this shooting was a mother carrying her groceries into her home on 49th Street.
In an unrelated incident, D.C. police said a man was shot nearby the Georgia Avenue-Petworth Metro station in the 3700 block of Georgia Avenue in Northwest at around 2:42 p.m. The victim is in stable condition, according to Chief Lanier. Metro Transit Police said they were assisting D.C. police with the investigation. Metro said the shooting occurred off Metro property and it did not affect rail service.
Two men were also shot at Fairlawn Avenue and Young Street in Southeast. One victim suffered a minor injury while the other man suffered a gunshot wound to the lower extremity. Police do not believe this incident is related to the other shootings.
"We need people to come talk to us," said Lanier. "There are ways to talk to us anonymously. We have our text tipline. You can text us at 50411. That's anonymous. You can call us at -727-9099. The reason we have been able to take violent offenders off the streets the way we have so far all the way up through today is because those people talk to us. They're scared -- we get that. But scared sometimes help us get the people who are creating the fear in the community off the street and that is what we need. We need people who are willing to come forward and work with us, and we do everything we can to assure the safety of those people."