Police hunt for two armed with assault rifle in fatal shooting in Washington DC

Police hunt for two armed with assault rifle in fatal shooting in Washington DC

washington dc screengrab
A screengrab showing police presence following a shooting in Washington DC on Sep 19, 2019. (Image: Jay Korff/Twitter)

WASHINGTON: Police hunted for two suspects believed to be armed with an assault rifle on Friday (Sep 20) after one person was killed and five were wounded in a shooting on the streets of Washington, DC, about 3km from the White House.

The victims had been standing in an apartment building courtyard in Washington's Columbia Heights neighborhood when the drive-by shooting took place on Thursday night, Metropolitan Police commander Stuart Emerman said.

One man was killed and two of the five wounded were in critical condition, he said.

Two suspects were seen in a Nissan sedan and used an "AK style rifle", police said in statement. The incident was now over, it added.

"Detectives are interviewing witnesses and looking for camera footage," Emerman said.

ABC affiliate WJLA-TV posted images on Twitter of ambulances carrying victims from the scene and said there had been a "massive" police response at the intersection of 14th Street and Columbia Road.

With mass shootings and gun violence a regular feature of American life, controversy over the use of assault rifles has entered the 2020 presidential race, with candidate and former US Representative Beto O'Rourke declaring at a Democratic debate that he would confiscate such rifles.

O'Rourke has made gun safety the centerpiece of his campaign since late August, when his hometown of El Paso, Texas, was the site of a racially motivated mass shooting that killed 22 people inside a Walmart store.

But the gun debate has long been divisive in US politics and many Republicans and the powerful gun lobby the National Rifle Association resist further restrictions on gun ownership.

Republican Vice President Mike Pence has decried the gun-control stance and accused the Democrats as having a "radical agenda".

Source: Reuters/aa