The attack happened during a fire drill outside of the Washington Center (1005 3rd St. NE), an organization that houses and educates student interns, last night around 11:45 p.m.
Someone pulled the fire alarm around 11:30 p.m., causing nearly 100 people to evacuate and gather outside. Then, someone in a white Dodge Charger and armed with a paintball gun fired into the crowd, hitting six people, police said,
Two Borderstan reporters and Washington Center interns described the the attack as sounding like a series of popping noises. As shots rang out, someone yelled “gun!” and people ran and ducked for cover, our reporters told us.
Of the six people hit by paintballs during the attack, three sustained minor injuries, police said. Nobody was taken to the hospital for treatment.
Police are still on the lookout for the shooter.
The Washington Center sent us the following message about the attack:
We wanted to make you aware that last night an incident occurred at TWC’s Residential and Academic Facility at NoMa (RAF) that may have affected your students participating in our Summer 2016 program.
Around midnight a fire alarm was activated. As the facility was evacuated, students were directed across the street to the courtyard of the Loree Grand, a neighboring apartment building. A vehicle driving by began shooting paintballs into the crowd. Understandably, many students believed this to be an active shooter situation and experienced emotional distress as a result.
The Metropolitan Police Department reported to the scene, took witness statements, and reviewed video footage for information. D.C. Fire treated students who were injured by the paintballs or required other medical attention, and no students were transmitted to the hospital.
As you work with your interns today and in the coming days, if you notice them in distress, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We have internal student services and LEAD instructors who are available to support our students via one-on-one conversations, facilitation in coping with anxiety as well as referring students to professional counselors as needed.
The health and safety of our students is the priority and we are working to follow up with any students who need support.