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Three individuals together with a toddler have been injured Friday afternoon when police say gunfire erupted in a busy space alongside Connecticut Avenue in Northwest Washington, plunging colleges into lockdown and sending terrified residents operating for security.

Police have been nonetheless looking for the shooter greater than 2 1/2 hours after the primary photographs have been reported about 3:20 p.m. within the Van Ness space, holding the neighborhood and town on edge, and prompting police to warn on Twitter that there was an “lively menace.”

Authorities stated a person and girl have been critically damage and the kid suffered a minor damage.

Closely armed police in tactical gear and federal brokers poured within the space conducting an in depth search of buildings and streets, as legislation enforcement officers in helicopters scanned the realm from above. Officers questioned individuals fleeing and had some maintain their palms up within the air to ensure they weren’t concerned.

One younger man seen taken into custody was not linked to the case, police stated. A pair stated they heard three speedy bursts of gunfire of maybe 20 photographs every, and noticed individuals hiding underneath a truck close to a college because the shooter appeared to fireplace from a balcony in an residence constructing on Van Ness Road NW.

D.C. police stated the situation of the incident was within the 2900 block of Van Ness Road, off Connecticut Avenue, and that police have been conducting “lively sweeps.” Police urged residents of Cleveland Park and Van Ness to shelter in place.

Throughout a night information convention the place a helicopter whipped overhead and police continued to escort individuals out of buildings, Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) stated of the victims, “We’re praying for his or her well being and nicely being.”

Asst. D.C. Police Chief Stuart Emerman stated at 5:30 p.m. that police have been nonetheless making an attempt to pinpoint the place the photographs got here from and the place the victims have been struck. He stated some scattered and have been discovered injured elsewhere.

Emerman additionally stated investigators are conscious of social media posts purporting to include particulars of the capturing however he cautioned these posts haven’t been verified. He assured mother and father of 1 faculty that kids have been safely sheltering inside and a police officer was with them.

The assistant chief added, “We shouldn’t have a motive presently.”

The gunfire comes amid a sequence of latest mass shootings across the nation that has unnerved residents.

Diane Roberts, a contract broadcast reporter who has lived in Van Ness for 20 years, stated she had by no means seen as many law enforcement officials in her neighborhood as she noticed Friday.

When she heard a sequence of pops echo exterior her window, she at first thought nothing of it.

“I didn’t even contemplate gun photographs,” she stated, including she then heard voices exterior her window screaming to “transfer” and “get down.”

She rushed to her window and noticed police streaming down the road and helicopters circling above.

At about 5:10 p.m. a inexperienced armored car drove northbound on Connecticut Avenue and turned proper onto Van Ness Road. A staff of about half a dozen personnel — wearing inexperienced camo and carrying semiautomatic rifles — received out, conferred with a police officer after which moved cautiously up Van Ness, strolling on the north aspect of the armored car for canopy.

One other black armored adopted minutes later, which was carrying two males in camo driving within the again.

The shootings occurred shortly after the Edmund Burke College dismissed college students for the day at 3:15 p.m. College students have been streaming out of the constructing once they heard gun photographs, and a pair ran for shelter to a close-by CVS. Others have been nonetheless within the constructing.

A spokesperson for the campus of the College of the District of Columbia close to the capturing stated the college and the legislation faculty are sheltering in place and locked down. No less than one public elementary and highschool have been additionally placed on lockdown, together with the College of the District of Columbia and the west campus of Howard College Regulation College.

The lockdowns from the capturing prolonged to the Sidwell Mates College round Tenleytown. Many of the college students on the non-public faculty had gone dwelling for the day, however spokesman Invoice Burger stated that there was after faculty applications and two athletic occasions scheduled Friday afternoon.

A spokeswoman for D.C. Public Faculties stated not less than two of its colleges — Hearst Elementary and Wilson Excessive — are on alert and college students enjoying sports activities and in after faculty care applications have been introduced inside to shelter. Each colleges are situated a couple of mile away from the reported website of the capturing.

James Tandaric, an advisory neighborhood commissioner who lives within the space, stated he was at work Friday afternoon when his boyfriend, on a stroll within the neighborhood, texted him that he had heard gunshots.

He acquired an e mail from the residence simply earlier than 4 p.m., saying they’d “been conscious of a doable emergency adjoining to the constructing.”

“We’re all in shock at the moment,” Tandaric stated.

It is a growing story.

Perry Stein, Clarence Williams and Ellie Silverman contributed to this report

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