Crime and Courts

Man Arrested for Shooting Outside Cuban Embassy in DC

A D.C. police report lists the incident as a 'suspected hate crime'

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A Texas man with an assault rifle opened fire outside the Cuban Embassy in Washington, D.C., early Thursday and was charged with assault with intent to kill, authorities said. No injuries were reported but Cuban officials reported property damage.

Alexander Alazo, 42, of Aubrey, Texas, was arrested. He appears to have been shooting toward the embassy, according to a preliminary investigation.

A D.C. police report lists the incident as a "suspected hate crime."

The gunfire broke out at about 2 a.m. outside the embassy in the 2600 block of 16th Street in Northwest D.C., near the Adams Morgan and Columbia Heights areas. Metropolitan Police Department officers were called to the scene after neighbors reported hearing gunshots, authorities said.

D.C. officers found the suspect with an AK-47 and ammunition, a police report says, and took him into custody without incident.

The embassy said in a statement Thursday afternoon that no embassy personnel were hurt but that the gunfire damaged the building. Cuban officials said they did not know the identity of the shooter or have information on his motivation. 

The United States is responsible for keeping the premises of diplomatic missions safe, the embassy's statement said.

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The Secret Service said the suspect was arrested for possession of an unregistered firearm and unregistered ammunition, assault with the intent to kill and possession of a "high-capacity feed device."

Photos from the scene posted to social media showed investigators searching through an SUV, and a bullet hole in a window over the front door. Damage could be seen to a flagpole and a column flanking a statue of Cuban independence hero José Martí. 

An investigation by D.C. police and the Secret Service is underway. Drivers and pedestrians should expect road closures in the area, police said.

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

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