A D.C. police officer shot and killed a man in Northeast D.C. early Monday after the man reached for a weapon that turned out to be a BB gun, police say.
The shooting marks the fourth time in less than a year in which an officer shot a person in the Clay Terrace neighborhood; half of these police-involved shootings were fatal.
The man not identified by police died after he ran from an officer, slipped and a weapon fell from his clothing, D.C. police said. That weapon was later determined to be a "replica of a semi-automatic handgun," D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier said.
The incident began when an officer tried to stop a man police said was acting suspiciously about 2 a.m. Monday on the 5300 block of Clay Terrace NE. The man ran and slipped on the pavement, and then the weapon appeared, police said. The officer told the man not to reach for the gun, police said. When he did, the officer opened fire and shot him in the neck.
The man was taken to a hospital, where he died. The officer was not injured.
Lanier said the man shot was black and the officer is white. Race has not been raised as a factor in the shooting, but it comes amid a national debate about the deaths of black men at the hands of police.
D.C. police intentionally fired their weapons 15 times in 2015. Twenty percent of the time, it happened in Clay Terrace.
In March, a D.C. officer shot a man on the 5300 block of Clay Terrace who was suspected of robbery. In August, an officer shot a woman on the same block who refused to drop a knife, police said. And in November, an officer shot and killed a man on the 5300 block of Dix Street NE after police say he advanced toward the officer with a hunting knife.
Crime is high in Clay Terrace, and an officer is on patrol there around the clock, the police chief said.
"We have a lot of violent crime over there. This is why we have constant patrol presence in the community because we're had homicides in ... recent history just in that same block," she said.
D.C. officers fired their weapons 30 times in 2004, 31 times in 2007, 9 times in 2012 and 15 times in 2015.
The U.S. Attorney's Office reviews all shootings involving D.C. police officers.
The investigation is continuing, police said. Anyone with information is asked to call D.C. police at 202-727-9099.
This story has been corrected from an earlier version.