WASHINGTON ( Associated Press) – A man brandished a gun “indiscriminately” at three people, killing one, in an early Wednesday morning attack in the US capital. tunnel after the travelers encounter and disarm it.
Officials were still reconstructing the chaotic series of events that left two people with gunshot wounds to the leg and the death of a subway worker. The attacker remains in custody and his identity has not been released.
Metropolitan Police Department Deputy Chief Ashan Benedict “lauded the heroic actions of our citizens, our community, in disarming this attacker.”
But he added: “The fact that our citizens had to intervene with a gunman bothers me.”
The incident began shortly after 9 a.m., when the man began waving a weapon and confronting passengers on a bus in southeast Washington, DC. Benedict reported that the man followed one of the passengers off the bus and shot him in the leg.
The man then went to the Potomac Avenue subway station, confronted someone who had bought a ticket, and shot the person in the leg. Both the victims were undergoing treatment at local hospitals.
The armed man got down on the subway platform and started arguing with a woman there. Benedict called his behavior highly erratic: “He was brandishing a gun and picking at people at random. He’s clearly agitated about something.”
A subway employee tried to intervene and was shot. The identity of the deceased worker has not been released, but Benedict said “his heroism has to be recognized.”
Later, the gunman tried to board a train and was apparently confronted and disarmed by passengers. Benedict said he exited the car and was taken into custody by police officers, who recovered his gun from the train tracks.
Mayor Muriel Bowser said the recent shootings highlight the need for serious gun control. Bowser and the police department have come under heavy pressure recently after a city employee shot and killed a 13-year-old boy who was part of a group of youths who were breaking open cars parked on his street . The resident was charged this week with one count of second-degree murder.
“We’re focused on looking at how we get guns out of our city,” Bowser said. “Whether it’s in the subway, on the street, in homes, we know we have weapons that are causing tragedy in our city and our country.”
Metro CEO Randy Clark said his administration had recently tightened security measures, including increased surveillance by police and security cameras. But he said the morning’s incident was indicative of a wider problem that goes beyond subway security.
“This is not a Metro-specific security issue; This is an American gun violence problem,” Clark said.