Driver Shot After Questioning ATV Riders in Southeast DC

The man said he was on Branch Avenue near Naylor Gardens and asked ATV riders if they thought what they were doing was appropriate. Someone then opened fire

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A D.C. driver says he feels lucky to be alive after he was shot Sunday night by an ATV rider on Branch Avenue in Southeast.

“Glad that I’m still alive, ‘cause I could’ve been dead, you know,” said the victim, who didn’t want to give his name out of concerns for his safety. “And I’m just hoping that they caught these people because it can’t continue like that.”

He said he was driving on Branch Avenue near Naylor Gardens Sunday night when ATV riders stopped in the middle of the road, then went toward him.

The victim said he rolled down his window and asked if they thought what they were doing was appropriate.

“Then one of them approached my vehicle, punched mirror, and then maybe seconds later, I hear gunshots,” he said.

Police said the ATV riders all got away. They put out pictures and are asking for tips from the public.

The victim said the shooting was jarring but not surprising.

“Nowadays, people are going crazy,” he said. “They’re just shooting for no reason. I don’t know. I have no idea. I don’t know why they do it.”

ATVs and dirt bikes are illegal in DC. The victim said he feels the city should do more to enforce that.  

“No one is doing anything to stop that,” he said. “So, I think they need to take that thing more seriously to prevent people from riding it or at least find a place for them.”

Mayor Muriel Bowser addressed the situation on Wednesday.

“We’re very concerned about it,” she said. “I’ve asked the chief to reset our approach. He has spent several weeks really looking across the country at best practices.”

The victim is on crutches, now, and said because of his injury, he hasn’t been able to work. Doctors said it’ll be about six weeks before he’s fully healed.

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