Gray: Dupont Circle Violence “Disturbing, Frightening”

Shootings, stabbings left 1 dead, 5 injured

D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray called the shooting and stabbing incidents in the Dupont Circle area early Sunday morning that left one person dead and five others injured "disturbing and frightening," but gave a reminder that the District is on pace to see its total number of murders for the year at its lowest point in nearly four decades.

Gray commented Monday on the fight that began inside a Connecticut Avenue restaurant at about 2:30 a.m. Sunday.  The violence ended with three shootings and three stabbings.

According to a statement from Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier, the fight began inside the Heritage India restaurant at 1337 Connecticut Avenue, Northwest. The melee moved outside, at which point three men were shot. One of the shooting victims, identified as 34-year-old Jhonte Coleman of Suitland, later died of his wounds.

Lanier said that all of the victims were men, and all were from Maryland. All three shooting victims and two of the stabbing victims were transported to area hospitals from the scene, while the third stabbing victim was discovered at an area hospital. He had apparently gone there under his own power. All of the injured victims were still in hospitals as of Sunday afternoon.

On Sunday afternoon, the Heritage India restaurant was shut down by the authorities for a period not to exceed 96 hours retroactive to 6 a.m. Sunday. The closing is subject to a hearing and disposition by the D.C. Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration. The investigation is ongoing.

"Yesterday’s violence on Connecticut Avenue near Dupont Circle is disturbing and frightening -– just as violence anywhere in our city should disturb and frighten all residents," Gray said in a statement. "Protecting and promoting public safety is one of my top priorities, and I am proud that, thanks to the efforts of our Public Safety Team, the total number of murders in the District for 2011 is on pace to be the lowest in nearly four decades. I am confident that the Metropolitan Police Department will investigate this crime thoroughly and that the perpetrators will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."

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