- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Five teenagers were shot, two fatally, in broad daylight in Northeast on Tuesday afternoon in what police said may have been the result of an ongoing dispute between rival neighborhood gangs.

The 4 p.m. shooting in the 5300 block of Clay Terrace in Ward 7 occurred with dozens of residents on the street, many of whom lingered near the crime scene as police searched for clues.

“I guarantee there are witnesses,” Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier said. “It’s 4 o’clock in the afternoon, there’s a couple hundred people out.”

Chief Lanier, who consulted with Mayor Adrian M. Fenty at the scene, said the victims appeared to be between 16 and 18.

On Wednesday, police identified the fatal victims as Davonta Artis, 15, of the 300 block of 54th Street Northeast, and Daquan Tibbs, 18, of the 200 block of 37th Place Southeast. Mr. Artis died at the scene. Mr. Tibbs died at the hospital.

One victim died at the scene, and one died at a local hospital Tuesday evening. Three others had what were thought to be injuries that were not life-threatening. Police on Tuesday evening had not named the victims who were fatally shot. The names of the other victims were also not released.

Chief Lanier said police found multiple shell casings from different guns, which could indicate an exchange of gunfire. She said police were looking for a black sport utility vehicle with tinted windows.

Joan McDonald, 53, who lives a block from the shooting, said she heard what seemed like dozens of shots.

“At first I thought it was a whole bunch of firecrackers going,” Ms. McDonald said. “Then I saw the police running up and down the street, and I knew it was something serious.”

Officials said the shooting likely resulted from an ongoing dispute between gangs at the Richardson Dwellings and the nearby Huntwood Apartments.

The shooting highlights what some residents say is typical violence at Richardson Dwellings, a low-income-housing development.

“You don’t want to live here,” said Andre Prophet who lives in the 5400 block of Dix Street NE.

Alfreda Allen, 55, who also lives a block away from the shooting, said the neighborhood is generally quiet but Clay Terrace is plagued by violence.

She said she doesn’t typically see police in the neighborhood unless a crime happens, though she worries that the presence of officers might not be a deterrent.

“They ain’t scared of police no more,” she said.

D.C. Council member Yvette Alexander, Ward 7 Democrat, said she was disappointed to hear the news six months after police made a large drug arrest in the area.

“Our young people are in retaliation mode and without concern for human life,” Miss Alexander said. “We have to send a message this is not a way of life.”

While violent crime is down overall across the city, it is up in the Sixth Police District, which includes Clay Terrace.

The biggest increase is in robberies with a gun, which are up 18 percent over the same time last year. However, homicides are down from 36 at this time last year to 21 this year.

• David C. Lipscomb can be reached at .

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