Gun violence

Metro Board Has Emergency Meeting After Worker Killed in Station Shooting

A Metro employee was killed, and three others were injured when 31-year-old Isaiah Trotman opened fire at the Potomac Avenue Metro station

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Flags at Metro properties in Washington, D.C., are flying at half-staff Thursday to honor a transit employee shot trying to stop a gunman on a rampage.

Robert Cunningham, a mechanic for Metro, was killed at the Potomac Avenue station in Southeast on Wednesday. He was 64. Three other people were injured after the attack that began as a confrontation on a Metrobus. The gunman shot one victim after getting off the bus and another person inside the station. Another person suffered a laceration unrelated to gunfire, police said Thursday.

Metro General Manager Randy Clarke said just after midnight Thursday that he met with a group of Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority workers, including many who worked with Cunningham.

“Their care for each other will get us through this tragedy. A request to our customers, please show patience and grace to our team as we mourn & recover,” Clarke said on Twitter.

The Metro Board of Directors also called an emergency, closed-door meeting Thursday morning to discuss safety and security.

No service changes or closures were announced for the Potomac Avenue station since it reopened Wednesday afternoon.

Cunningham was among several individuals who heroically tried to stop the shooter, whom D.C. police identified as 31-year-old Isaiah Trotman, of Southeast D.C.

A second WMATA employee also tried to deescalate the situation. Police believe he did so successfully because no one else was shot after the intervention.

Clarke said he was in awe of the two employees’ heroic actions.

Timour Skrynnikov, a D.C. government worker, said he tackled the gunman after seeing him hold a gun to a woman’s head.

"I just lunged at him, and he just dropped," he said. "There was a divine, not intervention, but you know, I think God helped me at that point, because once I jumped that guy, I mean, he just went straight down. And the lady was not hurt."

Trotman faces charges of first-degree murder while armed, kidnapping while armed and assault with a dangerous weapon (gun).

"Our officers were there within minutes of getting the call for service. But due to the heroic actions of our citizens, of our community, to disarm this shooter – I can’t put a price on that. I think they saved lives. That’s to be commended. But the fact that our citizens have to intervene with armed gunmen is disturbing to me," MPD Executive Assistant Chief of Police Ashan Benedict said.

News4's Jackie Bensen introduces us to the men who put their lives on the line and prevented even more bloodshed. One of the men, a Metro employee, was shot and killed.

‘Something Has to Be Done’: Spate of Recent Shootings Near DC Transit

Wednesday’s shooting is just the latest in a string of violent incidents at or near District transit.

Last month, a man was shot to death outside the Southern Avenue Metro station; a 6-year-old and 9-year-old were shot leaving a Metrobus on 14th Street Northwest and a 17-year-old was killed and a 14-year-old shot at the Congress Heights station.

Riders tell News4 they're scared, and they want the agency to take action.

“Any time people can continuously bring guns on our trains and guns on our buses… and yet you say you want to increase ridership? Something has to be done,” rider Michael Campbell said.

Clarke reassured riders the system is safe. He said he's been working to increase patrols since he started the job.

A shooting at the Potomac Avenue Metro station is shining a spotlight on safety. News4's Adam Tuss reports.

But we know D.C. police officers responded to the Potomac Avenue shooting before Metro Transit Police, prompting questions about the number of officers needed and where they should be posted.

After the attack at Potomac Avenue station, Clarke reiterated his call for broader initiatives to stop gun violence.

"Unfortunately, Metro is not immune to the violence that our country is experiencing right now. These senseless acts must be addressed together by our leaders and community," he said in a statement Wednesday.

Wednesday’s shooting erupted as D.C. residents observed National Gun Violence Survivors week with events including a city-sponsored dinner for grieving families and a 72-hour vigil at Berean Baptist Church on Madison Street Northwest.

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