A gunman was on the rampage Wednesday morning in Southeast D.C., shooting people seemingly at random after altercations on a city bus and at the Potomac Avenue subway station.
In the end, authorities said a subway worker was killed and three other people were injured. The suspected shooter was caught by passengers on the subway train and is in custody.
The Metropolitan Police Directorate held a press conference to provide information about the shooting. D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, Metro General Manager Randy Clark and Metro Transit Police executives were also at the scene.
“We believe this is a series of separate events,” MPD Executive Assistant Police Chief Auchan Benedict said.
It all started around 9am on Wednesday in a Metrobus. The suspect got into an argument, followed the victim off the bus and then shot them in the legs. The man ran away and was transported to a hospital, police said.
The excited gunman made his way to the Potomac Avenue subway station. He talks to someone getting a MetroCard at a ticket machine and shoots them in the leg. According to police, he may also have pulled the victim through the turnstiles.
The suspect continued down the escalator and got into an argument with a woman on the station platform. Two Metro Transit employees watched this happen. One of them tried to intervene and was shot by the shooter.
The employee died at the scene. His identity was not immediately released.
A second WMATA employee also tried to de-escalate the situation. Police believe he did so successfully, as no one else was shot after the intervention.
The gunman then got on and off the train several times.
“Similar to the situation on the bus, he’s walking around brandishing a firearm and just randomly engaging people in conversation.” He’s obviously excited about something. We’re just not sure at this point — that’s going to take some time, the investigation,” Benedict said.
Benedict said he confronted passengers left on the stalled train before he was caught. The passengers then fled the scene. The suspect was alone on the platform when he was taken into custody.
“Our officers were there within minutes of receiving the call for service. But because of the heroic actions of our citizens, of our community, to take down this shooter – I can’t put a price on that. I think they saved lives. This is commendable. But the fact that our citizens have to deal with armed gunmen is troubling to me,” Benedict said.
Three injured are in hospital. Two had leg injuries and one had an injured finger, according to police.
Metro CEO Randy Clark described the employee as “a truly heroic man.” He said it was a really sad day for the company.
There was a large police presence at the intersection of Potomac Avenue and 14th Street following the incident.
The Blue, Orange and Silver Lines are suspended between the Federal Center SW and Minnesota Avenue stations while police investigate. Buses are available while service is suspended Metro Transit Police tweeted.
A spate of subway shootings recently
News4 Transportation Reporter Adam Tuss explains police at subway stations after police say one person is dead and three others injured in a shooting at the Potomac Avenue subway station in Southeast D.C.
The Potomac Avenue shooting continues a recent spate of subway shootings.
On December 7, an off-duty FBI agent fatally shot someone on the Metro Center station platform. In a separate incident the next day, a teenager shot and killed three people at the Benning Road station.
On Jan. 3, a teenager was killed and another wounded in a targeted shooting at the Congress Heights station.
On January 7, a man was shot and killed right outside the Navy Yard subway station.
Subway riders have expressed concern for their safety in the wake of the recent violence, as the Washington Metro Authority tries to bring back passengers lost during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This is breaking news. The story will be updated. A previous version of the story is below.