MPD to Act After Street Fight Gunfire Hits Two Homes on 15th Street NE
Posted May 8, 2021
by Larry Janezich
Thursday evening residents near 15th and C Streets NE turned out for a discussion and safety walk with MPD after violence erupted last Saturday afternoon and a spate of gunshots resulted in the wounding of two individuals and bullets penetrating the interior of two nearby homes and striking the fence of a third.
MPD officials who came out to the meeting included Executive Assistant Chief Ashan Benedict (who has lived in the community for 20 years and who brought his wife and three daughters to the walk), First District Commander Morgan Kane, and Lt. Daniel Dyn.
The meeting/walk was organized by ANC6A08 Commissioner Brian Alcorn whose single member district is divided by the boundary between MPD Districts 1 and 5. ANC Commissioners from abutting or nearby single member districts turned out for the meeting, along with more than 30 residents.
Neighbors say that there are two sites on or near C Street, NE, between 15th and 16th Streets, where troublemakers gather to gamble, drink and do drugs – empty lots off the alley on the north side of C Street in the same block and the triangle park at the intersection of 16th and C Streets, NE. These activities, the neighbors say, have continued despite many 911 calls for police assistance and that the on-going proliferation of a number of minor incidents culminated in the shooting last Saturday.
One neighbor has called 911 “hundreds – probably thousands” of times to little or no effect with respect to resolving the problem. Some neighbors say they feel intimidated and terrorized by the activities. One neighbor whose home was struck by a bullet said that Saturday’s shooting left him and his family feeling threatened inside his own home.
Kane told the group before leading a walk to the trouble spots that she works closely with MPD 5th District Commander William Fitzgerald and that one of the things police need to do is to disrupt gambling activities – “that’s one of the strategies we employ.” Part of the difficulty in enforcement is that some of the activity occurs on privately owned vacant lots and part because these activities happen on either side of an MPD District dividing line. She spoke of the importance of bringing other city agencies to the table to address issues – including crisis response teams, substance abuse teams and parking enforcement.
Executive Assistant Chief Benedict backed up Kane’s commitment to the goal of making sure all residents are able to walk safely in their community, saying he has lived in the community for 20 years and was here today with his family because “this is my community and I wanted to be here”.