Washington shooting: Gunman opens fire outside restaurant

BBC News

A gunman has opened fire outside a restaurant in an upscale area of Washington DC, about a mile (1.5km) from the White House.

Diners at outside tables ran for cover as more than 20 shots were fired.

Witnesses said the gunman fled by car after shooting towards a Mexican restaurant in the Logan Circle area.

Two people were shot, and local police believe one of them was the intended target of the attack.

While rates of most violent crimes have gone down, assaults with a gun are on the rise – not just in Washington DC but in many American cities.

According to Washington DC crime statistics, the rate of assaults committed with a gun has risen each year since 2018. So far, 471 assaults with a gun have been reported in 2021. This time last year, there had been 434.

However, most of the gun violence in Washington is concentrated in poorer parts of the city, in the South East and North East districts.

At a news conference, Police Chief Robert Contee said officers were able to respond to Thursday night’s shooting “within five seconds” because they were already investigating another shooting in the area.

Among those who witnessed the attack in Logan Circle was CNN presenter Jim Acosta.

“Just hear[d] what sounded like gun shots on 14th street in NW DC. People fleeing the popular Le Diplomate restaurant which seemed a few blocks away,” he tweeted.

Jess Davidson, 27, was in the Mexican restaurant when the gunfire broke out.

“It’s terrifying,” she told the BBC. “I thought I was going to die.

“It’s something that you always fear, living in the US, but nothing can prepare you for that moment,” said Ms Davidson. “It’s incredibly angering – people feel the way that I do every single day, when they’re in shopping malls, baseball games, movie theatres, schools.”

US President Joe Biden has promised to take action on gun crime, with tighter rules on some kinds of guns and enhanced background checks.

However, he faces an uphill task. The right to bear arms is protected by the Second Amendment to the US Constitution and many people see gun control laws as infringing on this constitutional right.

On Thursday, the US justice department said it had established “strike forces” to curb illegal gun trafficking in five key regions, including Washington DC.


One thought on “Washington shooting: Gunman opens fire outside restaurant

  1. Here we go again… you will find the FBI involved somehow. It seems to be the case in these events. What the police don’t realize is that they will not be allowed to live either, along with their families. We, as Americans need to stick together – on the same team, if we are ever going to rid ourselves of these fleas and ticks!

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