Sergeants Benevolent Association

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D.C. Shootings Close To Firefighter 'Crime Deterrent' Patrols

From The Washington Times, July 18, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC – At least three people were injured in four shootings in the District over a 24-hour period Sunday and Monday, according to fire and police officials.

Two locations that officials responded to for reports of shootings were just blocks from corners where D.C. firefighters have been stationed as crime deterrents. In one instance, a firetruck was on its way to a post when the call about the shooting went out, and in the other instance, firefighters were not assigned to the post at the time of the reported shooting, a fire union official said.

“This obviously shows they are not a crime deterrent in the neighborhoods,” Edward Smith, president of the D.C. Firefighters Association, said.

The most recent shooting occurred at 11:40 a.m. Monday at a Southeast barbershop. One man was shot in the 2900 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue and taken to a local hospital with potentially life-threatening injuries, fire department spokesman Pete Piringer said. Police are looking for a man who fled the scene with a handgun and was last seen running away through a nearby alley.

Three other shootings were reported Sunday night, but officials in the District have been unable to locate a victim in one of the incidents. Emergency crews were called to the 5000 block of Kimi Gray Court in Southeast just after 10 p.m., and while they found evidence that suggested there had been a shooting, emergency workers did not find a victim, Mr. Piringer said.

As part of a new public safety collaboration this summer, firefighters are occasionally being posted on street corners in high crime areas to act as crime deterrents in D.C. neighborhoods. One such corner, at Benning Road and G Street Southeast, is located several hundred feet from 5000 Kimi Gray Court. Mr. Smith said firefighters were on their way to the post when the call went out.

Firefighters are also being stationed in the 5600 block of Clay Place Northeast but were not at the post when a shooting was reported around 5:30 p.m. Sunday several blocks away.

“It’s so busy in that area that there are firetrucks in the area all the time, even without the soft posts,” Mr. Smith said.

Officers were called to the 5400 block of Clay Street Northeast for a shooting, said Metropolitan Police Department spokeswoman Officer Tisha Gant. Neither police nor fire officials could provide any information about the shooting victim in that incident.

In another incident, a teenage boy was taken to a hospital in serious condition after he was shot in the 3300 block of Stanton Street Southeast around 10 p.m. Sunday, Mr. Piringer said.

As of Monday afternoon, all of the victims were alive, though no further details were provided about their conditions, Officer Gant said.

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