Metropolitan Police Department (DC Police / MPD)

Drive-by Paintball Shooting Spree in Southeast D.C.

D.C. police received six reports of paintball attacks in southeast D.C. Tuesday.

Someone was firing a paintball gun out of a sedan beginning about 11 a.m., according to the reports, hitting a woman working in a hot dog stand, a man cutting grass, electricians and construction workers.

William Minor, 72, was mowing his neighbor’s lawn when he was shot in the cheek, shoulder and back.

"A car pulled up and stopped in front of me. ... He wind the glass down, and that's when he started pumping ... boom, boom, boom," Minor said.

At 17th and T streets, a crew working on a sidewalk scattered when a gray car eased into the intersection. Someone in the car called out, “Hey, don’t run,” then a series of paintball shots hit a fence, a tree, a work truck and a worker.

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A few minutes later, electrician Marvin Hamrick was shot on Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue.


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“Some of the guys say they got off eight or nine shots,” Marvin Hamrick said. “Most of them hit me. I saw this sedan over there out of the corner of my eye and I turned my head and I took three rounds in my head and some down my shoulder and my back as I was diving through the door to get away from the fire. The first round that hit me, I thought it was a real bullet. It burned and hurt. That’s when I started to go for the ground.”

Nearby, a paintball was fired in to a small hot dog stand across the street from the Big Chair sculpture.

In all, 11 victims were shot in six locations, police said. Police used a helicopted to try to find the suspect car. 

“Today, the Metropolitan Police Department was made aware of two individuals recklessly and maliciously firing paintball guns at innocent bystanders in the Seventh and Sixth districts," police said in a statement. "To be clear: this behavior will not be tolerated in the District of Columbia. Our officers are working to identify these individuals and hold them accountable. If the public has any information, pictures or videos, please contact us at 202-727-9099.”

Paintballs don’t usually cause serious injury but can be fired at speeds of 160 mph and cause pain and bruising. Many of Tuesday’s victims refused medical attention, police said, but two went to area hospitals for treatment.

"It's not getting better," Minor said. "Things are getting worse."

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