A would-be victim pursued the men who robbed his friends until a gunshot shattered their windshield Friday.
The incident began around 6 a.m. in the 1800 block of Jefferson Place NW, just south of Dupont Circle, police said.
The man who spoke to News4 said that he and four friends were leaving his business, MIA Lounge on Jefferson Place, when they were approached by three men around 6 a.m.
Two of the men were wearing masks; all three had guns.
"He came behind me. I didn't even feel him until I saw the girl who was in the car looking behind me, like, 'Do you know the guy behind you?'" said the victim, who didn't want his name used. "So I turned around, I thought it was someone that I knew, joking with me, and I felt a gun behind my back."
He turned to see other gunmen behind his friends, too. "So at that moment, I elbowed him, pushed him [and] he grabbed my arm, twisted his arm and [I] just ran away... I was screaming, 'Guys, run, run, run, guys, guys, this is no joke, run," he said.
His other friends were robbed by the men, who took cell phones, cash and some other items. Two of the victims then jumped into a Porshe Cayenne and followed the gunmen's vehicle to get a license plate number.
While they were driving, the suspects fired at the Cayenne, hitting it once in the windshield.
That's when the victims decided to drive toward the White House to seek help from the Secret Service, knowing they would be nearby.
Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia local news, events and information
The Cayenne ended up near the north side of Lafayette Park across from the White House, but the gunmen got away.
Police do not recommend taking the law into your own hands.
"We don't recommend that people follow someone -- especially if they are armed," D.C. Police Cmdr. George Kusik said.
Police are looking for four men, the three who committed the robbery and their driver. They were in a silver or white Lincoln with D.C. tags EC0424. If you see the vehicle, don't approach it. Call 911.
Stay with NBCWashington.com and NBC4 for more.