- The Washington Times - Friday, November 21, 2003

A Metropolitan police officer was grazed by a bullet early yesterday while responding to a double shooting near a city government building in Northwest.

Police say they got a call at about 1:05 a.m. for shots fired in an alley behind 14th and U streets NW, the site of the Reeves Municipal Center.

Officers found two victims — both 23-year-old Maryland men — were shot multiple times. One was in critical condition last night and the other was in stable condition, D.C. police spokesman Sgt. Joe Gentile said.

Sgt. Gentile said witnesses pointed a responding officer toward a Cadillac that ran a red light and sped away from the scene of the shooting. The Cadillac crashed into a light pole about a block away at 13th and U streets NW.

The officer pulled up behind the Cadillac and several men jumped out of the car, one of them firing two shots at the officer.

The officer, who has not been identified because he is a witness, was grazed in the right hand. The bullet hit the patrol car’s windshield at about head level, just toward the driver’s side, leaving a quarter-sized hole. The other shot ricocheted off the hood of the patrol car.

“If it had been an inch one way or another, it could have been in the face or the head,” Sgt. Gentile said.

The officer was treated at an area hospital and released.

Sgt. Gentile said the officer is 36 years old and a 13-year veteran of the department. The officer did not return fire, and the men escaped.

Police said they are not certain whether there were two or three persons in the Cadillac, but they issued a lookout for the man who shot at the officer.

Police said he was a stocky black male with a light complexion and freckles and in his mid-20s to early 30s. They said he was about 5-foot-8, wearing a three-quarter-length black leather jacket with a hooded sweat shirt underneath.

Sgt. Gentile said police have several promising leads.

He said police believe the initial shooting in the alley was prompted by an argument, but could not confirm reports that the dispute began inside the nearby U Club, on the first floor of the Reeves Center.

“We are investigating the possibility that an argument occurred in the alley where the shooting occurred,” Sgt. Gentile said.

D.C. Council member Jim Graham, Ward 1 Democrat, said yesterday that he has asked the city’s Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration to investigate any connections between the shooting and the club, which he said has been in operation since the early 1990s.

According to its Web site, the club is open to the public Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and features live bands playing rhythm and blues, go-go and jazz.

A. Scott Bolden, the attorney for the club’s owners, said club management interviewed security personnel and reviewed security videotapes and found that no altercations occurred inside the club Thursday night.

Mr. Bolden said club management told him the club had closed 30 to 60 minutes before the shooting, although he could not give the exact closing time.

Sgt. Gentile said a gun was recovered in the alley, but no determination had been made about who owned it.

Yesterday police at the department’s Forensic Science Services Division on V Street NE displayed 25 firearms — 13 rifles and 12 handguns — which they say were some of the weapons officers have recovered since Monday.

“One of the reasons we wanted to display the guns is to show you just some of the guns that are recovered in a few days,” Sgt. Gentile said. “This is what our officers face in the field.”

He said police recover 1,800 to 2,000 weapons each year, rangin from single-shot pistols to AK-47s.


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