News and Analysis

Monday, Oct. 31, 2011 11:41 p.m.

MPD surrounds Foggy Bottom Metro after reports of shooting

A UPD officer helps to direct traffic in front of the crime scene on New Hampshire and 24th street. Michelle Rattinger | Senior Photo Editor

A University Police Department officer helps direct traffic in front of a crime scene at 24th Street and New Hampshire Avenue. Michelle Rattinger | Senior Photo Editor

Updated: 2:03 a.m.

Metropolitan Police officers arrested multiple suspects near campus but the arrests have not been linked to the shooting in Georgetown late Monday night.

Three to five shots ripped through M and 28th streets after 10:30 p.m., near the Georgetown Four Seasons Hotel. Later, at least one person was transported away from the scene in an ambulance. An officer said he suspected the incident would be labeled a homicide.

Two suspects were arrested by Metropolitan Police officers near the Foggy Bottom Metro.

“At approximately 11:15 p.m…the George Washington University Police Department was notified of armed suspects in the I Street Mall area. Both suspects have been arrested by the Metropolitan Police Department,” University spokeswoman Michelle Sherrard said.

The I Street Mall area is also the Foggy Bottom Metro area.

Both University and Metropolitan police department officers arrived at the alleyway between 24th Street and New Hampshire Avenue late Monday night, keeping both vehicle and pedestrian traffic away. Michelle Rattinger | Senior Photo Editor

A witness near the Metro said he saw a man come up behind GW Hospital in the aftermath of a fight near the station. When a truck approached a car that was picking the man up, the person ran toward an alley, the witness said.

Police later closed off that alleyway near New Hampshire Avenue and 24th Street, blocking residents from returning to the townhouses that dot the street.

Officers searched a red pick up truck parked outside the 7-Eleven by City Hall, while the streets leading into Georgetown were closed off.

Secret Service agents aided MPD in investigating the red truck before escorting a person from GW Hospital. Agents declined to comment.

In Georgetown, more than two dozen police officers were holding a group of teenagers at the corner of 28th and M streets until at least 1:20 a.m. Each of the teenagers was uncuffed and was later escorted home by police officers.

University spokeswoman Candace Smith said the University was delayed in getting a report out to the community. She noted that tweets and Facebook messages were sent. The first notification was sent more than an hour after the initial shots in Georgetown. A Crime Alert hit inboxes shortly after 1:30 a.m.

“Unfortunately, there has been a delay in sending out the alert due to emergency maintenance of the mass email notification system. [Information Technology] personnel are actively working to resolve the issue and distribute the alert,” Smith said. “We also have other means to notify the community such as the news media and social media. We utilized those tonight.”

-Lauren French, Andrea Vittorio, Priya Anand, Chelsea Radler, Sarah Ferris, Cory Weinberg, Michelle Rattinger and Francis Rivera contributed to this report.

  • Michael Wilhelm

    One suspect is in custody at 24th & New Hampshire, where a weapon has also been recovered. GWUPD and MPD stopped a second suspect at Farragut North, who is currently being questioned by Detectives.

  • Eye witness

    It was actually only 3 shots that were fired, but still!

  • Michael Wilhelm

    One suspect is in custody at 24th & New Hampshire Ave NW, where a weapon has also been recovered. A second suspect has been stopped by GWUPD and MPD at Farragut North Metro Station.

  • Hugo Scheckter

    Once again, a disgraceful response to this by GWPD. With the Earthquake, no response for a few hours, by which point it was too late. And now, despite there being a possible shooter on campus there is still NO crime alert out, nearly an hour afterwards.

    I posed the question to Darell Darnell at the SA retreat back in August after the Earthquake failure, and he said ‘The Alert System sometimes fails in periods of high use’.

    This could have been a nasty situation once, and thankfully it wasn’t. But does a student need to get shot before we wake up and realize that for a school in the heart of DC, our alert system endangers the lives of those who live and work on our campus.

    The suspect was arrested 1 block from where I live. Safety HAS to be the top priority of the university. Forget J St. Forget smoking bans outside buildings. Let’s get the basics sorted out first. Mr Darnell, you have a lot to answer for once again.

  • Scared student

    Was someone killed?

  • Dissapointed in GW

    Glad the Hatchet had to tell me about this…I live in City Hall and I am usually coming back to my room around 10:30pm on Monday nights–good thing my student org meeting was cancelled! Thanks GW for letting me know…I certainly feel sooooo safe right now. It’s truly a disgrace that there is something this dangerous and GW feels no obligation to warn students. This is ridiculous.

  • Ryan

    #Cosign, Hugo.

  • Duh

    In all seriousness, let’s compare this to other situation. Take the Virginia Tech shooting for example. If there is a gunman on campus in a building, I sure as hell would like to get an e-mail or text letting me know about this so I dont go anywhere near that building or know to not leave the room I’m in. The students need to know what’s going on as soon as GWUPD or MPD know.

  • Former GW Student

    So how about that smoking ban…

  • alley

    In one of the alley houses, gun stashed in townhouse bushes. No shooting occurred in the alley (we didn’t hear it).

  • Livid student

    Unbelievable ineptitude on the part of GW & UPD. I can’t comment on how occupied UPD is at this very moment, but this is inexcusable. Armed suspects arrested on campus, and few students are aware. Is there even a point to the Advisory and Alerts?

  • toine

    how fast can upd bike ride to an emergency? for the sake of all of us gw students, i hope they’re in good shape.

  • Non Student

    Back a few years ago no one would have heard about it. To say that there is some unprecedented and horrendous failure is to show how inept this generation is. So what if the email alerts didn’t go out. Maybe man up and just accept the emergency and work to resolve it. Don’t blame the school, blame the reliance upon contrived alert systems.

  • Paul Blart, UPD Mall Cop Division

    Doesn’t everyone know that transporting drunk freshmen is so much more important than notifying the campus community about an armed suspect? #UPDpriorites

  • Jordan Meehan

    We got HOW many emails about Blackberry’s service outages and the best they can tell us about a SHOOTER on campus is a tweet? Excuse me, what?

  • Realistic GW student

    Yea GW should have sent out an email, but there is no way the school can control every aspect of whats going on around campus, especially a campus like this that is so tied integrated into the city. This type of a ampus is why most of us came here, so for all the people complaining that they dont feel safe, you probably should have gone to a differnet school.. Metro, UPD and the Secret Fucking Service responded swiftly to this. everyone calm down or transfer.

  • jillian

    I love how all that GW alerts said was “GWPD was notified of armed suspects on the I street mall area” two hours after it happened. Maybe sending alerts by carrier pigeon would get to us faster.

  • grad student

    you all do know that the gw alert and crime alert are sent in regards to a direct threat to public safety right? i dont really know the whole facts, but it looks like these guys were caught almost immediately.

  • Jared

    Is there reason to believe that GW students may have been being targeted, and so were at significant risk requiring immediate notification via email, text message, phone call, and bat signal?

    No? Oh.

  • Cocerned Parent

    I am astonished that the University did not let the students know what was going on. If the system fell in a time of somewhat of an emergency situation, what in the world will happen if a true life saving emergency would happen? My son called me at 12:45 this morning to tell me he could hear fighting and screaming outside his window. All he knew was when the Hatchet would put out updates. He is on a first floor and the crowds were congregating right at his window fighting, etc.

    The University MUST address this situation immediately. First it was the hurricane and now this. Parents and students pay too much money for the lack of response on both the university and UPD.

  • @Non Student

    Yeah, you’re right–we should “man up” and risk our lives. The issue isn’t necessarily that we weren’t aware of this particular incident, it’s that this alert system has proven itself useless during a time when systems like these have proven themselves to be necessary (Virginia Tech, etc.). But of course, we’re just “inept…”

  • Recent Alum

    “Man up” about a situation involving a shooting on a school campus? Are you absolutely brain dead?

    “Non Student says:
    November 1, 2011 at 1:52 am
    Back a few years ago no one would have heard about it. To say that there is some unprecedented and horrendous failure is to show how inept this generation is. So what if the email alerts didn’t go out. Maybe man up and just accept the emergency and work to resolve it. Don’t blame the school, blame the reliance upon contrived alert systems.”

  • McChaverson

    Its really scary how our University emergency alert system fails to ever report incidents in a timely manner. I was less than a block away from where the shooting took place and then walked through the metro area on my way home as there was a armed suspect on the loose. I didn’t receive any form of alert until 01:06AM. I am subscribed to DC and GW alerts and neither of them really serve a useful warning purpose. I agree that the earthquake situation should have been a recent wake-up call. Why fund an office of safety and emergency management if they provide neither?

  • Adam

    I must agree with everyone in that the University has failed the students again. Something is always wrong and what scares me is what is going to happen next time? Has the University President, head of UPD, or Board of Trustees have no shame in making things right? We need new leadership that are going to handle issues seriously.

    Somone needs to be held responsible!

  • Concerned Parent

    As a parent of a GW student, I am really shocked that the university has allowed these type of incidents to just roll by without anyone trying to correct the issue.

  • City Hall Resident

    If you are really concerned, shoot an email to GW’s office of Emergency Management , and CC the Department of Education’s Director in charge of Clery Act Compliance

  • Student

    GW’s Office of Emergency Management –

    Mary Gust at the Department of Education –

  • Frustrated student

    How has nobody acknowledged that someone was murdered last night? Why are we all so concerned with our own safety when some unknown family lost the life of a loved one? Show a little less selfishness and a lot more compassion for the community around us.

    Realize that we live in a city and things happen that are out of the university’s control. They were working to target and resolve the problem. Maybe they didn’t want to send misleading information if they were unsure of what was going on.

    The rest of the Foggy Bottom residents live near our campus and seem to function just fine without updates from UPD.

  • Sharon Z

    These gun-wielding criminals could have so easily slipped into any one of the many dorms within a one block radius of the FB Metro. BECAUSE THERE ARE NO GUARDS CHECKING IDs IN THOSE BUILDINGS. EVER. AND IT IS COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE.

    Maybe it’s time for GW students to start demanding more of UPD. For a campus filled with so many activist-types, the GW student body is surprisingly passive.

    I am reposting a comment I left on an October 24, 2011 Hatchet article, “Man Arrested for Hall Entry,” regarding a 34-year-old belligerent intruder at The West End.

    “The male students only sustained minor injuries, Hay said.”
    It is very good news that students forced to defend themselves against an assault by the West End intruder were not seriously injured. It is very bad news that Chief Hay still has not adequately addressed the problem of the rampant unauthorized entry into GW’s dorms. Chief Hay’s use of the word “only” in this instance is disturbing; it seems as if he’s trying to shoo away the issue, and this story. If the intruder happened to be wielding a knife or a gun, the injuries would not have been minor. We were lucky this time.
    In The Hatchet’s October 13th article, “UPD to monitor residence hall access,” reporter Priya Anand said: “Increasing the level of control of access to residence halls has been a top priority for Hay since he arrived at GW in August 2010, and the force is now looking at the issue, he said.” Chief Hay is indeed standing back and looking at this issue . . . standing back and waiting for something really horrible to happen before any meaningful action will be taken. What needs to happen before Chief Hay takes appropriate action to protect GW students?


    (I just heard that there is now a police officer stationed at the West End. This is good, but it doesn’t address the larger issue. West End is not more likely than any other dorm to have an unauthorized intruder in the future. Chief Hay’s action in response to unauthorized dorm entry is once again reactive instead of proactive. It’s a Band-Aid instead of a permanent solution.)

  • Keepin’ it real

    I think we all came to college to get ready for the real world, in which bad things do happen. Anyone who expects the university to protect them in the case of a serious emergency is an idiot. GW is not your parent, nor is it a super expensive boarding school to send your kids where they will be monitored at all times. It is a place to study and that should be it. Sure something happens here but sometimes that something is bad. Wake up and face the real world.

  • Jared

    How would an email in this situation make anybody safer?

  • alum

    Yes, alerts about events in the area are useful.

    But, alerts were meant to warn students of immenent danger. Is there any reason to believe either GW students or the general public were in harms way? No? This is city life… things happen around you, but that doesn’t mean you’re always a target.

  • alumni

    Why do so many people think this was a UPD failure? As far as I can tell from the story, UPD barely had anything to do with this whole thing.

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