Gunman Fires Shots at 2 Volunteer Officers: DC Police

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A man fired shots at two volunteer reserve officers Thursday, D.C. police

The shots fired before 4 p.m. near the intersection of Hawaii Avenue and
Varnum Street in Northeast D.C. did not hit the officers but did strike a
police vehicle, police said.

The officers were returning to their patrol car from a 7-Eleven near Catholic University when the shots were fired. The officers did not fire back. They said they did not want to put commuters at risk.

Police believe the gunman fired from a nearby treeline.

The officers called for backup and police arrested a man after a brief chase. The gun was located in suitcase near the shooting, according to court records.

“Looks like he tried to assassinate a couple of our police officers,” Chief
Peter Newsham said.

No one was injured.

The suspect is charged with assault and possession of a gun by a convicted felon. Court records show the suspect had previous gun charges from 2017.

"I think if we want to get serious about gun violence in our cities we need to ensure that when somebody is arrested and they're convicted of a gun offense that we have consequences that change behavior, and in this case, clearly, it didn't," Newsham said.

The gun is what's known as a ghost gun, which has no make, no model and no serial number and is untraceable.

"What people will do is they'll buy pieces of the weapon from different places and they'll assemble the weapon, and it provides a little bit of difficulty for people in law enforcement to see where the weapon came from," Newsham said.

The volunteer officers received full police training and carry handguns but do not get paid.

CORRECTION ( Dec. 13, 2019, 10:16 a.m.): Earlier versions of this story misstated whether volunteer officers are armed.

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