WASHINGTON – Two schools in southeast Washington were placed on lockdown for a time on Tuesday morning after police said three people were shot nearby.
The shots were fired just blocks away from Ballou High School where two students were injured, and a third man, a former student, was also hurt.
It happened after a fight spilled off a Metrobus near the school.
Police are looking for one gunman. Witnesses describe him as a teenager with a ponytail.
The three people wounded were two 17-year-olds and a 20-year-old.
One of the 17-year-olds was shot in the abdomen and fell in front of the Washington Gas building. The other teen was grazed by a bullet and ran to Ballou High School. The 20-year-old victim ran into a nearby store.
The school day had just begun when students late for class left the Metrobus that pulled up to a stop at Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue and 5th Street, SE.
Mary Cuthbert, a local ANC commissioner, witnessed the assault.
“About quarter to nine, I was walking to the bus stop and I heard four shots, and I saw some kids running down Esther Place and kids running across the street,” she said. “And then I saw a young man run to the firehouse banging on the door.”
Witnesses said the shots were coming from a young man with a gun standing in front of a restaurant, firing his weapon up the street toward the bus stop.
One round hit the window of a store where others ran for cover, including one of the wounded.
"I knew the ambulance was on the way,” said store owner Donny Speto. “I tried to keep him calm and I held his hand.”
Speto said he was standing near the front door of his store when he heard the gunfire.
"When I heard the gunshots, he ran in, limping, and then when I saw everybody running in, that's when I came in,” Speto said.
"Preliminarily, what we believe was as soon as they exited the bus, there was an altercation on the bus or right after they got off the bus, and then there were shots fired,” said D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier.
One witness said the gunman, who appeared to be a teenager, stood in front of a carryout before running down the alley next to the salon. Police sources said a camera in the rear recorded him as he ran by.
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