Man Shot in Back at D.C. Playground Was Targeted: PD - NBC4 Washington

Man Shot in Back at D.C. Playground Was Targeted: PD



    In a community meeting Thursday, D.C. police said a man who was shot in the back at a playground last week was targeted. A 6-year-old girl was struck by a stray bullet during the attack. News4's Shomari Stone reports. (Published Thursday, May 29, 2014)

    In a community meeting, D.C. police said a man who was struck by a bullet at a playground last week was targeted.

    The shooting was reported May 20 around 7 p.m. while several children played at a public housing apartment complex playground in the 600 block of Morton Street NW. Witnesses said a gunman barged through the playground, firing several shots and striking a 25-year-old man in the back.

    "It was chaos. It was pure chaos," a witness told News4. "I have never seen children that terrified in my life. It was disturbing."

    A stray bullet struck a 6-year-old girl in the knee, requiring her to use a wheelchair and a walker to get around for the coming weeks -- and while she celebrates her 7th birthday.

    Last week, News4 learned the man who was struck had been arrested for murder several years ago, but those charges were dropped when witnesses refused to testify.

    Residents and police officers gathered at a police station Thursday night to voice their concerns about violence. 

    "These kids have a right to live, they have a right to play," resident Carolyn Matthews said. "They have a right to enjoy wherever they live, but they can't because this is going to be an ongoing problem."

    Police announced the man was targeted and pointed out crime is down in the Third District compared to last year.

    "Violent crime is down 42 percent and that includes Columbia Heights and Georgia Avenue," Cmdr. Jacob Kishter said.  

    Matthews said she believes the community needs to battle these issues head-on otherwise violence will be "business as usual."

    No arrest has been made, but police released a surveillance video of a possible suspect.

    If you recognize him or have any information, call police at 202-727-9099.