Police said they were looking for a “person of interest” after four people were shot dead by an elite Washington DC preparatory school and one man has now been reportedly found dead
Image: Getty Images)
A man has reportedly been found dead after a shooting near an elite preschool in Washington DC left four people injured.
Police cordoned off the affluent Van Ness neighborhood in northwest Washington, which is adjacent to the Edmund Burke School, following the reported attack on Friday afternoon, just as classes were due to be suspended for the day.
They said they were looking for a “person of interest”, 23-year-old Raymond Spencer, in relation to the incident.
Now it is claimed that Spencer was found dead.
“The suspected shooter is on the fifth floor, 2950 Van Ness St NW DC. He passed away,” wrote Twitter user Alan Henney.
An eyewitness told local broadcaster WUSA-TV that he heard rapid fire for about a minute and saw a woman run out of a building who appeared to be grazed by gunfire, followed by others who appeared to be wounded.
The eyewitness said he saw other people on the street taking cover behind parked cars and pointing to a balcony where they believed the shots had been fired.
Three people who were hit by gunfire near the private college preparatory school have been taken to area hospitals – a 54-year-old man and woman in their 30s with serious wounds and a 12-year-old girl injured in the arm, police called.
A fourth victim, a woman in her 60s, was treated at the scene for a minor abrasion, according to Deputy Police Chief Stuart Emerman.
Authorities had said they had no motive for the shooting but they were looking for “a person of interest”.
At a second briefing Friday night, Asst Police Chief Emerman said they were looking for a “person of interest,” whom they described as 23-year-old Raymond Spencer of suburban Fairfax, Va., who was identified by investigators through social media Media posts has been identified.
“We would like to speak to Mr Spencer, find out if he has any role or connection to this and hopefully that will point us in the direction of finding out what happened here and why,” the police chief said.
He had previously said a search for perpetrators had begun and several people seen fleeing the scene were briefly detained for questioning, but it was believed no one was involved.
“I don’t think we have arrested any suspects at this time,” he said.
“We are looking for suspects or suspects. We have no motive at this time,” Asst Police Chief Emerman told reporters.
“We don’t know the full details of what happened. But we continue to ask the public to simply stay away from the area while we continue to investigate.”
Deaven Rector, 22, a law student, said he lives at the AVA Van Ness apartment building where he believed the shooting originated and heard three gunshots.
“Right now the police have the area secured and it’s safe, but the fact that this kind of chaos can be caused by a maniac on a normal Friday… the kids were about to leave school,” he said.
Jennifer DiGiacinto said she was at home at work when she found out about the shooting through a text message from her son, a 11th grader at Burke School.
“He said, ‘Something bad has happened, you need to turn on the news.’ I said, “Why, what’s going on?” And he said, ‘Gunshots, I’m under a desk, we’re barricaded,'” she explained.
“This is outrageous,” she continued. “But just because you live in Washington DC doesn’t mean you’ll avoid what’s happening elsewhere. So that’s part of our culture now, isn’t it? And sad.”
News footage on local television showed Connecticut Avenue blocked by emergency vehicles. Dozens of police vehicles with blue lights were parked in front of the school building while police officers in full tactical gear and some in camouflage gear gathered nearby.
Local NBC affiliate WRC-TV aired footage showing people being evacuated from a nearby building and running down a sidewalk, some with their hands raised.
“It was madness. I mean, it’s just incredible,” Jade Moore, a parent of Edmund Burke, told local ABC affiliate WJLA-TV of the incident, in which she said her daughter was huddled in a classroom until police found her and other students escorted a safe part of campus. “You know, you think they’re safe, but you’re not safe anywhere.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/us-news/man-found-dead-after-four-26778375 "Man found dead" after four gunshots near prep school sparked stampede