The man suspected of firing shots with an assault rifle at Constitution Avenue and 16th Street in northwest D.C. Friday night was stopped by Arlington County police earlier that day.
Officers stopped Oscar Ramiro Ortega in north Arlington for a field inquiry about 11 a.m., News4's Jackie Bensen reported. Police did not have enough to search or arrest Ortega, but they did ask him what he was doing and where was he going and took photographs of him, within the officers' Constitutional rights.
U.S. Park Police searched the Occupy D.C. encampment at McPherson Square after callers said they had seen a man matching Ortega's description, but they did not find him, Sgt. David Schlosser said.
Park Police said they believe Ortega came to the D.C. area a couple of weeks ago, News4's Elaine Reyes reported. He has had legal issues in Texas, Utah and Idaho involving drugs, alcohol and assault.
Police still don’t know why the 21-year-old may have fired shots Friday night, but they are backing off the idea that a second vehicle may have been involved, Reyes reported.
The Secret Service, Park Police, D.C. police and Arlington police all responded after witnesses reported shots fired about 9:30 p.m. Friday. They found an assault rifle in a car abandoned near the Theodore Roosevelt Bridge. It was not an AK-47, as suggested in previous reports, and the owner of the gun is unknown at this time.
Evidence from the car linked it to Ortega.
Investigators have not found any shooting damage on buildings, cars or trees and don’t know who or what he may have been shooting at or why. They do believe he’s still in the area, and Arlington Now reported he may have been squatting in a house in Arlington, Va., according to the Highland Park/Overlee Knolls listserv. Arlington County police did not confirm this.
Ortega is described as a Hispanic man with brown eyes, black hair and medium building, standing 5-foot-11 and weighing about 160 pounds. He has several dots tattooed on his right hand, “Israel” tattooed on the life side of his neck and several tattoos on his chest and back, including his surname “Ortega,” hands clasped in prayer and rosary beads.