10 shot in DC shooting spree, residents not surprised

7:26 PM, Sep 14, 2013   |    comments
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WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- Police say they still have no one in custody after a two-day crime spree this week.

By the end, 10 people were shot, in 7 incidents, two died in a 48 hour period that started Wednesday night.

Community members in one part of the district provide some insight into what could be fueling the problem.

Blue and red flashing lights at 1st and Pierce Streets, NW, is nothing new.

The folks who live in this community called Sursum Corda expect it, if not, wait for the next crime to happen.

Wednesday night, a quadruple shooting after an illegal gambling game, left a man dead.

One more indication of losing hope for a safer tomorrow.

"All I've seen was one police. Don't have no police over here and you need 'em," a resident said. 

Nearly a decade ago, a gunman shot 14-year-old Princess Hansen execution style, thinking she may have been a witness to a previous crime. The killing brought so much attention to the community, residents thought it would be what turned Sursum Corda around.

Sursom Corda, is a low income housing development that has a long history of drug dealing and violence. It's been the target of good intentions but what folks see now is that they're surrounded by good intentions while they're being left behind.

Pastor Larry West, Mount Airy Baptist Church, "there's a major disconnect of what they see on the NE side and what's happening on the NW side."

Pastor Larry West's Mount Airy Baptist Church sits adjacent to Sursum Corda. He points out they're surround by new buildings that are popping up, construction cranes stick out in the skyline.

"They look to the Northeast, they see all the prosperity, all the buildings. The people who are walking, joyous who seem to have hope but in this area there doesn't seem to be any hope," said Pastor Larry West.

Resident, "they don't hang here they just be in the house."
This man talks about his children who stay inside for safety.

The recent violence brought Pastor West and other community leaders together at his church Friday.

"This is the 2nd murder this year at Sursum Corda that has been connected to a craps game."

Resident, "Go to parking lot to parking lot. They're moving. How are you going to stop them if they keep moving?

Another residents said, "Gangs, they're in the park, don't belong in Sursum Corda. If security can't touch them who can? Now what did you solve? Most of the people dead they're not from here. You think I'm going to run 'em out of here?

It's the harsh reality. One, that Pastor West hopes he can help change and bring hope to a place full of despair.

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