Ten violent hours, nine illegal guns seized.
Hundreds of police officers flooded the District’s streets Aug. 28 in an “all hands on deck” effort meant to blunt a surge in violence. And yet, despite the show of force, 10 people were shot that night. Two of them died, pushing this year’s homicide count to 105 — equal to the total for all of last year.
Between 4 that afternoon and a little after 2 the next morning, as reports of shots fired popped up around the city, police continued an effort to capture some of the District’s illegal weapons. By morning, officers had confiscated nine unregistered handguns and charged nine people, most of whom have criminal records.
There is no indication that any of those firearms were involved in the shootings that night, but police say they represent what’s driving the spike in killings — deadly weapons in the hands of violent people.
By the end of that weekend, police had seized 34 guns. They have picked up many more since — including 18 in one night.
“It’s like they are freaking dropping out of the sky,” D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier said in an interview.
Most were semiautomatics; several had high-capacity magazines, devices that are fueling the summer bloodshed, she said.
Among those arrested last weekend were several with previous gun-related convictions.
“There is a small number of repeat violent gun offenders who commit violent crime after violent crime after violent crime, and they are not spending any time in jail,” Lanier said.
Below, based on police and court documents, are the circumstances surrounding the nine guns seized on one of the most violent nights in the nation’s capital this year. Efforts to obtain comment from the family or attorneys of those charged were unsuccessful.
Source: The Washington Post | Joe Heim, Steve Hendrix and John Woodrow Cox