- The Washington Times - Monday, April 28, 2003

Police yesterday had identified a suspect in the shooting of a woman on a Metro Green Line train and were appealing to him to surrender.
The four-car, northbound Green Line train was approaching Congress Heights Station at Alabama Avenue and 13th Street SE on Saturday when the handgun went off about 8 p.m.
"It appears to have been an accidental discharge of a firearm," said Metro spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein.
Investigators know the suspect's name, so they did not have to review video surveillance tapes for a description, Ms. Farbstein said.
She also said the victim, who was shot in the buttock, is in good condition after treatment at the Washington Hospital Center.
Eight to 10 passengers were in the car where the victim and a young man were engaged in a loud discussion. Ms. Farbstein said they knew each other and apparently were not arguing.
After the shooting, a passenger pushed the emergency call button and informed the train driver. The driver called the police. But the shooter managed to evade the officer waiting at the station.
He was described as a light-skinned black male, in his early 20s, about 5 feet tall and weighing less than 150 pounds. He carried a small handgun.
The Congress Heights Station was closed for about 90 minutes while the victim was removed and taken to the hospital and the police investigated. Other trains passed through the station on the other tracks.
"We believe the Metro system is safe," Ms. Farbstein said yesterday.
Metro officials are searching records to determine whether other shootings have occurred on trains. There have been several instances of shootings, knifings, rapes, assaults, robberies and thefts in stations, parking lots and on platforms since 1976, but as of Saturday none was confirmed as happening on trains. The Metro system is regarded as one of safest in the nation.
Two slayings have occurred in Metro stations. A man was fatally stabbed at the Pentagon station in 1982. Another man was fatally shot at the top of the Capitol Heights Station escalator in 1993.
As the Iraq war began, Metro Transit Police officers were more visible throughout the system. The number of canine officers was increased, and some officers began carrying automatic weapons.
Before that, in January, police began more enforcement of the so-called public conduct ordinances such as no eating or drinking on trains.
The increased surveillance has its costs. Last week, officials announced plans to increase fares and parking fees to pay for increased services and fund the budget.

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