- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 30, 2003

An 16-year-old Anacostia High School student was fatally shot yesterday afternoon outside the school just after classes ended for the day.

The boy, identified as Devin M. Fowlks of the 2700 block of Douglas Place SE, was shot in the chest and a 15-year-old girl was believed shot in the wrist when a gunman fired into a crowd of students, said Metropolitan Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey. Police said last night that Devin was not the target of the gunmen.

Devin, a member of the school football team, was taken to Howard University Hospital, where he died.

Classes at Anacostia were called off for today and all the school’s weekend homecoming activities were postponed.

The girl also was hospitalized. Investigators declined to speculate on how many shots were fired or whether the same shot hit both victims. It also was not clear whether the girl was shot directly, injured by a ricochet fragment or was cut in the scramble after the shots were fired.

Two 6th District police officers working at the school saw what happened.

The shooter ran away, police said, eluding an officer who gave chase. He was being sought last night.

Two other men fled in a car, and the other officer followed in his cruiser. The two crashed about seven blocks from the school at 23rd and R streets SE.

Police said the second officer’s gun went off accidentally when he got out of the cruiser and attempted to take cover. No one was injured.

The two men in the car were taken into custody, but police said last night the two were not involved in the shooting.

Police acknowledged an ongoing gang feud at the school, but said there is no evidence yesterday’s attack is gang-related. Police met with school officials Oct. 24 and agreed to increase their presence after reports of increased violence and gang activity.

“I wouldn’t tie this to gang violence as of yet,” said Lt. David Jackson, with the police department’s violent crimes branch. “We’re still working on what the motive in the shooting may be.”

Anacostia High School has been the scene of a series of nuisance fires that became almost a daily occurrence in May.

Grief counselors will be available at Anacostia today for students who want to come in and see them. Classes will resume Monday.

Before the start of school in August, Superintendent Paul L. Vance formed a task force to prevent gang recruiting and violence in middle and junior high schools.

It includes senior security staffers from D.C. public schools, officers from the police department’s Youth Violence Unit and representatives from the youth intervention program of the D.C. Parks and Recreation Department.

This article is based in part on wire service reports.