Washington- A man who began to “indiscriminately” display a weapon shot three people, killing one of them, in an attack carried out Wednesday morning in the capital of the United States that began on a public transport system bus. from the city and ended up in a Metro tunnel after passengers confronted and disarmed him.
Authorities were still reconstructing the chaotic series of events that left two people with gunshot wounds to the leg and a Metro employee dead. The assailant is in custody and his identity has not been released.
Ashan Benedict, deputy chief of the Metropolitan Police Department, praised the “heroic actions of our citizens, of our community, in disarming this assailant.”RELATED
But he added: “The fact that our citizens had to intervene with a gunman bothers me.”
The incident began shortly after 9 a.m., when the man began brandishing a gun and confronting passengers on a bus in southeast Washington, DC. The man followed one of the passengers who got off the bus and shot him in the leg, Benedict pointed out.
The man then went down to the Potomac Avenue subway station, confronted someone who was buying a ticket, and also shot that person in the leg. Both victims were recovering at local hospitals.
The armed man went down to the Metro platform and began to argue with a woman there. Benedict called her behavior deeply erratic: “She was going around brandishing a gun and taking on people at random. He is clearly agitated by something.”
A subway employee tried to intervene and was shot dead. The identity of the deceased worker has not been released, but Benedict noted that “his heroism has to be recognized.”
Later, the gunman tried to board a train and was apparently confronted and disarmed by the passengers. He got out of the carriage and was detained by police officers, who recovered his gun from the train tracks, Benedict added.
Mayor Muriel Bowser said the recent shootings highlight the need for serious gun control. Bowser and the Police Department have recently come under intense public pressure after a city employee shot and killed a 13-year-old boy who was part of a group of youths who were breaking open cars parked on her street. The resident was charged this week with one count of second-degree murder.
“We are focused on seeing how we get the guns out of our city,” Bowser said. “Whether it’s on the subway, on the street, in homes, we know that we have weapons that are causing tragedies in our city and in our nation.”
Metro CEO Randy Clarke said his administration had recently tightened security measures, including increased surveillance by police and security cameras. But he pointed out that the morning incident was an indicator of a broader problem that goes beyond Metro security.
“This is not a Metro-specific security issue; it’s an American gun violence problem,” Clarke said.