Just before 4am, a loud boom woke me from a cold sleep. I got up, looked around, and lay back down until I heard the sirens of a significant police and fire response. Dressing quickly, I was outside about 4:15am this morning, to see Engines 15 and 17 fighting a car fire in my neighbor’s yard. The car had veered to the left, and collided with his retaining wall and fence. DCFD knocked the fire down in approximately 30 minutes, though the flames reached six feet in height, singing the lower branches of my neighbor’s maple tree.
Police on the scene reported a single occupant of the car, transported by EMS to Medstar with a serious gunshot wound to the back, which was likely the cause of the crash. MPD Captain McLean, responding to the incident, said that there was also a “shots fired” call on Saratoga near Rhode Island Avenue, and that it was possible that he had been chased up 17th to the accident scene. The driver was unconscious when transported to Medstar, and the Police were not optimistic about his prognosis, though he was moved there in under 15 minutes.
Several neighbors reported hearing a loud boom at approximately 4am, which has been interpreted either as the crash itself, or a gunshot. Personally, I thought it was too big a sound, and not sharp enough, to be a gunshot. Police said they recovered a single shell casing at the scene which would support the premise that the shot was fired on 17th street not down at Saratoga.
A neighbor estimated the damage to the fence and retaining wall in the thousands of dollars.