WASHINGTON (AP) — Police and federal agents swarmed into a northwest Washington neighborhood on Friday after at least three people were shot in a flurry of gunfire. City officials warned people to stay inside because of an “active threat” as dozens of officers in tactical gear searched for the suspect.
The law enforcement officers responded to the scene near Connecticut Avenue and Van Ness St. in the Van Ness neighborhood of Washington shortly before 3:30 p.m. The incident is just down the road from Howard University Law School.
Police in tactical gear were seen escorting people out of an apartment building. Officers pointed their rifles upward toward other buildings and windows as the people moved quickly down the street with their hands raised above their heads.
The Metropolitan Police Department is warning people who live in the nearby neighborhoods of Cleveland Park and Van Ness to shelter in place. Assistant Police Chief Stuart Emerman said the victims included two adults, one man and one woman, who were in stable condition, and a juvenile female who suffered from a “minor gunshot wound.”
Police were going door-to-door in area buildings as they searched for the shooter.
Emerman said police were also aware of a video posted online that may be connected to the shooting, though he cautioned that investigators hadn’t yet authenticated the video. Police were questioning witnesses at the scene and were still trying to discern a motive for the shooting, he said.
Video posted on Twitter captured the sound of bursts of rapid gunfire.
The University of the District of Columbia, which is located nearby, went into lockdown, telling students and staff to shelter and stay in place. In a tweet, the college said there was an “active shooting incident near student housing” and the suspect remained at large.
Eduardo Bugay, a student at the college, said he was in his first-floor apartment in the AVA building when he heard the shots.
“At first I was confused,” he said, not sure what he was hearing. Then, he said, he got scared.
Bugay said the university sent emails telling students to stay in place. About 30 to 40 minutes after he first heard the gunshots, police came knocking on his door to escort him and others from the building.
A slew of law enforcement officials and emergency crews were sent to the scene. Agents from the FBI arrived in an armored vehicle and the U.S. Secret Service said its officers were aiding police in the search and at the scene. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said its agents were also assisting in the investigation.