A 15-year-old died and three adults were wounded Sunday evening – including a cop who was hospitalized in stable condition – when gunfire broke out during an informal gathering near the Moachella Music Festival in Washington, D.C.
The tragedy unfolded at about 6 p.m. at an informal, un-permitted event “associated with a group known as Moachella,” Washington Metropolitan Police Department chief Robert Contee said at a briefing. “There was a truck that had people playing music on it.”
Several hundred people gathered in the area, Contee said, mostly on the sidewalk.
“At some point during the course of this gathering there was some type of incident or fight that happened between some of the individuals who were in attendance,” he said. “That incident was broken up. Shortly thereafter there was a secondary incident – we’re unsure of what that incident was, but people started to scatter at that point.”
Authorities then broke up the event over safety concerns, Contee said. EMS and other services were on the scene trying to clear out the area and tending to people injured when their legs and ankles got trampled as people started running.
“Shortly after that there was another incident that occurred within very close proximity of our first responders,” Contee said.
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That’s when three civilians, including the teen, plus a police officer were shot, he said. The officer sustained a gunshot wound to his “lower extremity” and was “going to be ok,” Contee said. The other two victims were in stable condition as well, he added.
Several firearms were recovered, one of them from one of the shooting victims, Contee said. “We are working very closely with our partners here in the public safety cluster” and investigating.
“All of this occurred in a span of about two hours,” he said, between 6 and 8 p.m.
“The officers did not fire,” Contee said, noting that about 100 officers responded. “We had a lot of officers in the area but none of them fired any shots.”
Attendees posted Twitter video on Sunday evening of people running.
“We can confirm that one of our members working in the area of 14th and U St NW has been shot,” the union for the District of Columbia’s Metropolitan Police Department tweeted. “The member has been transported to the hospital and is in stable condition.”
Police first told WTOP-TV at about 8 p.m. that “multiple people” had reportedly been shot near the intersection of 14th and U Streets in Northwestern D.C.