- The Washington Times - Monday, July 30, 2007


D.C. police said yesterday that they were looking for two men who fired into a crowd of people this weekend outside the Edgewood Terrace apartments in Northeast, wounding a 3-year-old girl and six others.

None of the victims sustained life-threatening injuries, and most were released from hospitals, said Cmdr. Jennifer A.J. Greene of the Metropolitan Police Department’s 5th District. She and Mayor Adrian M. Fenty went to Children’s Hospital to visit the 3-year-old, whom Mr. Fenty said will be OK.

The attack occurred at about 11 p.m. Saturday as a crowd of relatives and friends sat in a courtyard.

Mr. Fenty and Cmdr. Greene said they were shocked at the brazenness and disregard for life.

“They saw a kid right there and started shooting,” said Mr. Fenty, a Democrat. “This goes further than anything I’ve ever heard of.”

The mayor said a preliminary investigation showed that the bullet that struck the child might have passed first through her mother’s leg as she tried to protect the girl.

Police held a block party Friday for the community, which Cmdr. Greene said is “prone to violence.”

“Only to have this senseless act of violence the next day,” she said.

Also Friday, Chief Cathy L. Lanier announced that all available police officers would work eight-hour shifts Friday and Saturday night as part of her initiative to crack down on violent crime this summer.

A week earlier, 12 persons in the city were shot within 24 hours. Eleven of them were wounded during a two-hour period.

Chief Lanier said yesterday that she directed officers to increase patrols in Edgewood Terrace. The shifts of some day and evening patrol officers were extended to 11 hours.

The chief said the summer crackdown is working. Preliminary department numbers show that since the anti-crime initiative began June 8, overall crime has decreased compared with the same period last year. However, armed robbery is up 6 percent over the same period last year.

Cmdr. Greene said officers from the “All Hands on Deck” order were in the area when the Edgewood Terrace shooting occurred.

Police returned to the area yesterday to go door to door to “ask and assure” residents, she said.

Cmdr. Greene said the gunmen walked into the courtyard because the apartment complex’s maze of high-rise and garden-style apartments is too difficult to navigate by vehicle.

The suspects, both male, are described as black, one 6 feet tall with a light complexion and dreadlocks and the other 6 feet 3 inches tall with a dark complexion and a beard.

Investigators have no motive and say none of the victims knew the suspects.

Mr. Fenty said the 3-year-old’s father, Raymond Harris, asked only that police “please bring them to justice.”

The other victims included a 7-year-old and a 14-year-old. Others were in their mid-30s.

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