WASHINGTON - Mere hours after Acting D.C. Police Chief Pamela Smith was questioned on the rampant violence in the District, officials say five people have been shot in Northeast, and two of them are dead.
Just before 10 p.m., the Metropolitan Police Department received a call reporting the shooting on 14th Street Northeast and Saratoga Avenue Northeast.
At first, police believed that four men had been shot. However, a spokesperson for the department confirmed with FOX 5 that five men were struck by bullets, two of the men are conscious and breathing while two others were pronounced dead at the scene.
The fifth victim, police said, walked himself into a local hospital.
One woman FOX 5 spoke to in the neighborhood said it sounded like a "war zone" when the shots were fired.
After spending hours at the Wilson Building testifying in front of the D.C. Council's Public Safety and Judiciary Committee, Chief Smith spoke to the community once more – just before midnight – at the scene of the shooting.
She said the department is currently searching for three people in a gray SUV seen fleeing from the scene.
"I can't determine whether or not if we had more officers here if this would've or would not have occurred. What I can say is that we do have officers in areas where we find based on evidence and data that there is high crime, and we will continue to do that," Smith said. "I think that these are crew on crew [crimes] … These are historical beefs that continue to happen. I think guns are being entered in these types of disagreements, and what we really have to do is focus on how we can get these guns off the street."
FOX 5’s Melanie Alnwick says a resident discovered Thursday morning that one of the bullets sturck his vehicle’s radio and brake lines. "You try to adapt to it, but you can’t – because you never know if it will hit you," the man said.
Alnwick said the killings account for the 210th and 211th homicides of the year.
This is a developing story. Check back with FOX 5 for updates.