Washington DC

Man Killed, 5 Shot at Northeast DC Apartment Complex

The mass shooting occurred in the 400 block of 15th Street NE, outside the Azeeze Bates Apartments. Homicide victim Lance Melvin, 24, collapsed on top of a longtime resident in her 60s, she said

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One man died and five other men were shot and wounded at an apartment complex in Northeast D.C. on Monday night, authorities said.

Lance Melvin, of Southeast, was killed, police said in an update Tuesday. He was 24.

People began shooting in the 400 block of 15th Street NE, east of Tennessee Avenue, and officers who were nearby responded at about 8:30 p.m. The mass shooting occurred outside the Azeeze Bates Apartments, Chief of Police Robert Contee said. Some of the victims may have rushed inside for help.

One man was killed and five others were injured in a shooting in Northeast D.C. Monday night. D.C. Police Chief Robert Contee said he was "angered" and " saddened" by the violence. News4's Juliana Valencia reports.

Melvin, the homicide victim, fell on top of a 64-year-old resident of the apartment complex. 

“All I heard was the gunshots. I was getting up to come in the house, and some young guy ran from that way and collapsed on top of me. He knocked me down,” Debra Dickens said. 

“They was running and shooting. When I turned and I said to my companion, that’s when I closed my eyes, because the boy was on top of me,” she said. “I thought I was going to meet the Lord. I thought I was getting shot too.” 

Dickens, who has lived in the Azeeze Bates Apartments for more than 20 years, said she used to know Melvin. He went to school in the neighborhood, she said. 

“I knew the guy that collapsed on top of me. He was quiet, very respectful, and always helped me,” she said.

Members of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Washington Field Division were on scene Monday night to assist D.C. police in the investigation. No information on suspects or a motive was immediately released.

The five people who survived were still hospitalized as of late Monday. An off-duty firefighter is among the people wounded, sources familiar with the case told News4. He was hit twice and is still recovering, they said.

A day after the shooting, evidence of gunfire could be seen. Strafing marks marred a fence, and a Jeep parked in an alley had a bullet hole and broken window. Officers returned to the area to search for clues.

The police chief said he was angered and saddened by the shooting.

"I’m angered at the fact that residents had to experience this in their community. The residents didn’t deserve this. They do not deserve to have people shot in the communities where they live," Contee said.

“I’m saddened because of all the investments the city has made in violence interruption efforts, law enforcement efforts and community efforts," he continued "The investments have been made to stem the tide of violence in our communities. Yet it seems like we have people who are in our communities who have lost their sense of humanity, and that really saddens me. But we will continue to do the things we need to do to bring those individuals to justice."

Contee said officers spoke to a D.C. Council member and ANC commissioner about issues at the property within the past three weeks, and police are investigating whether a private security company was in place.

“We are not private security for a private property,” he said.

This story was updated from a previous version that said the shooting occurred at the Benning Courts apartments.

Stay with NBC Washington for more details on this developing story.

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