Suspected sniper found dead after 4 injured in D.C. shooting spree

Police identified Raymond Spencer, 23, of Fairfax, Va., as a "person of interest" in connection with a sniper-style shooting Friday in Washington D.C., in which four people were injured. Photos courtesy D.C. Police Department/Twitter

April 23 (UPI) — A man suspected of wounding four people while firing indiscriminately from a Washington D.C., apartment window on Friday has been found dead, police say.

D.C. police Chief Robert J. Contee III said the man was discovered inside a fifth-floor apartment in northwest D.C.’s Van Ness neighborhood after firing “in excess of 20 rounds” from the window, sending that section of the city into a panic.

Police found multiple firearms, including long guns and handguns, as well as ammunition and a tripod of the type used by snipers to mount rifles during a search of the unit.

“This was a sniper-type setup,” Contee told reporters during a briefing late on Friday. “Obviously, his intent was to kill and hurt members of our community,” he said, adding that the suspect was “shooting randomly at anyone who was out there.”

Authorities have determined the suspected shooter took his own life as police entered the apartment, The Washington Post reported.

Contee did not identify the suspect but police said earlier they were seeking 23 year-old Raymond Spencer of Fairfax, Va., in connection with the incident.

The shootings, which began at 3:20 p.m. Friday, triggered a lockdown in the capitol’s Van Ness area. Students in the area were ordered to shelter in place while police — many clothed in camouflage gear and traveling in armored vehicles — shepherded frightened residents away from the scene.

A wide area was closed off to traffic, including busy Connecticut Avenue, as ambulances and law enforcement vehicles swarmed through the neighborhood.

Authorities said those wounded in the shootings included two adult females, an adult male and a 12-year-old girl. Another woman in her 60s suffered a graze wound to the back.

The lockdown order for the Van Ness and Cleveland Park neighborhoods was lifted late Friday evening.

“Today has been a heartbreaking day for our community,” Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser said in a statement. “Unfortunately, tonight, I looked into the eyes of parents who were terrified, and they were terrified thinking of what might happen to their children. This epidemic of gun violence in our country, the easy access to firearms — it has got to stop.”


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