A man in his 50s was found shot to death in Fort Lincoln Park, about a hundred yards from Thurgood Marshall Elementary School in Northeast D.C.
Police say a woman walking her dog discovered the body just after 11 a.m.
On a day when school security was on the minds of so many parents and teachers, anyone curious enough would have been able to glance out the windows of Marshall Elementary and see crime scene tape and police detectives working on the hillside of an area of Fort Lincoln Park that backs up to the school.
The body was discovered in what appeared to be an area where people could relax on park benches.
"Fort Lincoln is really a quiet, calm, safe community and this is pretty unusual," said D.C. Police Commander Andy Solberg.
Police say the motive at this time is unclear. Commander Solberg says there were no reports of gunfire in the hours leading up to the time the body was discovered.
Still, parents with children in the school found the scene disturbing. Some who live in the neighborhood found the murder troubling. Others said they would only go into the park during daylight hours.
"Senseless death like that behind a school? We just went through this just a couple of days ago. What is going on with these people?" says Crystal Austin.
"I don't come here at night," said Miriam Morillo. "I am afraid. I come every time only with my dog. I know he is big, but I am afraid to come."
A letter from the interim principal of Thurgood Marshall Elementary says the students were safe and secure at all times and they did not see the body. All school-related activities were held indoors and will continue to be held indoors until police complete their investigation.
Letter from Thurgood Marshall Elementary School Interim Principal Rembert Seaward:
Dear Parent or Guardian:
Today, shortly after 11 a.m., a body was discovered in the park adjacent to Marshall Elementary School and police responded to investigate. I want you to know that this incident had nothing to do with Marshall Elementary School. The body was not found on school property. Students did not see the body and, because school routines progressed as usual, were not aware that police were investigating nearby.
Given the heightened state of alert and sensitivity surrounding the recent shooting in Connecticut, I thought it was important to be as open as possible regarding any activity that occurs in and around our school.
Please know that your children were safe and secure at all times today. All school-related activities were held indoors and will continue to be held indoors until police complete their investigation.
The safety of our students is paramount at all times, just as it is with you. If you have any questions or concerns about our safety and emergency procedures, please contact me directly. Thank you for your continued support.