man shoots four people in Washington, then commits suicide

The panic will have been short-lived. Hours after shooting four people, including a 12-year-old girl, on Friday afternoon in Washington, a man committed suicide as he was about to be arrested. Three of the injured, taken to hospital, are in stable condition. The fourth victim, in his 60s, was treated at the scene.

“The suspect we believe is responsible for this is now deceased,” Washington Police Chief Robert Contee said Friday night at a press conference. According to him, the individual killed himself when the police had just burst into his apartment, located on the fifth floor of a building, in which the investigators discovered “a sniper-type device with a tripod”, at least six firearms – including sniper rifles – and “lots and lots of ammunition”.

An impressive police force

The shooter’s motive remains unknown, but “obviously his intent was to kill and injure members of our community,” the police chief added. The shooting broke out in the affluent, and usually quiet, Connecticut Avenue-Van ness neighborhood in the northwest of the US capital, where many embassies and schools are located. A video circulating on social media, apparently filmed from the shooter’s perspective, shows people running for cover under automatic weapon fire. “It looks very authentic”, declared Robert Contee, specifying however that this video had to be appraised, and that he did not know if it had been shot live or published a posteriori.

After being called around 3:20 p.m. local time, members of the security forces, equipped with rifles and imposing bulletproof shields, had cordoned off the area, confining schools and a university. Many residents were quickly evacuated from the area where several detonations sounded, according to videos shared on social networks.

The Washington police, in the same afternoon, announced two other shootings in other districts of the capital. 226 homicides were counted in the city in 2021, a figure up 14% compared to 2020. “We are determined to help residents and stop gun violence,” the Democratic mayor told reporters. of U.S. Capital Muriel Bowser. “Easy access to firearms must end. »

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