Posted on November 1, 2011

D.C. Halloween Violence: Georgetown Shooting Sparks Youth Confrontations; 6 Shot Across City

Christina Wilkie and Michael Grass, Huffington Post, November 1, 2011

A shooting in Georgetown during Halloween festivities on Monday night sparked a series of fights that traveled through downtown, including an incident outside George Washington University Hospital where police deployed pepper spray inside a Metrorail station entrance. The Georgetown shooting was just one incident in a violent night in the nation’s capital; in all at least six people were shot.

According to WJLA-TV/ABC7, a confrontation started between two groups of people at Wisconsin Avenue and M Street NW then spilled eastward toward 28th Street NW, where “[a] witness says a man across the street started firing shots at the group and one victim fell to the ground.”


Georgetown has been known for years as a citywide gathering spot on Halloween night. Like previous years, police shut down streets in the congested neighborhood to accommodate crowds.

The shooting sparked a wave of young people who made their way on foot along Pennsylvania Avenue toward the Foggy-Bottom-GWU Metrorail station at23rd and I streets NW.

Many of them were visibly disturbed–some were weeping, others were yelling threats or calling for their friends. A few people ran, but most walked in loosely knit groups. {snip}

Within minutes, violence broke outside the Metrorail entrance, where an argument between two young women devolved into a street fight involving 20 to 30 people. Traffic was completely halted on 23rd Street, and one female eyewitness described the scene as “a gang war.”


Asked later about what had occurred inside the underground rail stop, a D.C. police officer standing guard outside the station told HuffPost, “there was a guy with a gun in there, and we had to pepper spray the whole place.”

The spray caused a mass exodus of people from the station, many of whom began walking east on I Street.

According to Metro spokesman Dan Stessel, a large group of disorderly juveniles returning from Georgetown entered the station and pepper spray was deployed. {snip}


According to the Washington Post, there were at least five other shootings in the District on Monday night. {snip}

[Editor’s Note: This editor frequents the Georgetown area, largely because it is overwhelmingly white. Last night, however, he was surprised to find the main street filled with a crowd that must have been 60-to-70 percent black. Even though there was a heavy police presence, blacks were running through the streets, knocking down barricades, and harassing bystanders. Though he did not witness the shooting, this editor had the feeling violence was imminent and this story confirms his suspicions.]