A man wielding a BB gun was fatally shot by two officers in NE, D.C. late Monday night, Metropolitan police said.
The shooting happened around 10: 22 p.m. in the 100 block of Varnum Street in Northeast, D.C. Officers got to the scene and found a man holding what they believed was a gun.
Police say they told the man to drop the weapon several times, however the man did not do so. He raised the weapon toward the officers.
“I was looking out the window right there and I heard, ‘drop the gun, drop the gun,'” remembers Madeleine Pautler, a neighbor. “And then a few seconds later five or six shots.”
The officers then discharged their weapons and hit the man.
“We heard what we thought were fireworks and didn’t pay any attention until we heard sirens and then helicopters,” says Crystal, who lives nearby.
Madeleine and her roommate didn’t know what was happening, but they knew they needed to get to safety. “I’m thinking I don’t want to get hit by a stray bullet, what’s the thickest wall to protect me?” Madeleine later found out it was her upstairs neighbor in the Pleasant Hills Apartments who had been shot and killed right outside her window.
The man was taken to the hospital in critical condition and died from his injuries. Police later determined the man was holding a BB gun.
It’s not clear why the man pointed his BB gun at officers or why he refused to drop it. Whatever happened, those who live near Varnum Street say they’re sick of the violence.
“I want to go to North Carolina, which is where I’m from, to sit on the front porch and listen to the crickets vs the gunshots,” says Crystal. The names of the officers involved or the victim have not been released.