Washington shooter injures four and commits suicide

WASHINGTON | A man committed suicide when he was about to be arrested on Friday after shooting and injuring four people and sparking a spectacular deployment by security forces in an affluent Washington neighborhood, police said.

Four people, including a 12-year-old girl, were injured by gunfire Friday afternoon in the Connecticut Avenue-Vanness neighborhood in the northwest of the US capital, where many embassies and schools are located.

Three of the injured who were taken to hospital are in stable condition. The fourth victim, in his 60s, was treated at the scene.

Washington shooter injures four and commits suicide

“The suspect who we believe is responsible has since passed away,” Washington Police Chief Robert Contee said at a news conference Friday night.

The man said he killed himself just as police broke into his fifth-floor apartment, where investigators discovered “a sniper-type device with a tripod,” at least six firearms — including scoped assault rifles — and “lots and lots Ammunition”.

Washington shooter injures four and commits suicide

The shooter’s motive remains unknown, but “apparently his intent was to kill and injure members of our community,” the police chief added.

A video circulating on social media, apparently filmed from the shooter’s perspective, shows people running for cover under automatic weapon fire. “It looks very authentic,” Mr. Contee said, but specified that this video had to be judged and he didn’t know if it was shot live or released afterwards.

Washington shooter injures four and commits suicide

After being called at around 15:20 local time (19:20 GMT), a large number of police officers, armed with rifles and imposing bulletproof shields, sealed off the area, trapping schools and a university.

The facts happened in a rather affluent and mostly quiet neighborhood in the north-west of the capital. According to videos shared on social networks, many residents were quickly evacuated from the area where numerous detonations were heard.

Washington shooter injures four and commits suicide

Washington police announced two more shootings in other boroughs of the capital that same afternoon. In 2021, the city recorded 226 homicides, up 14% from 2020.

“We are committed to helping residents and stopping gun violence,” Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser told reporters. “Easy access to guns must end.”

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