City Desk

The Wackiest D.C. Police Shooting Ever

WJLA has reported out this bizarre D.C. Police-involved shooting which took place on May 4 along the 1400 block of Shepherd Street NW. LaShawn English says at around 6 p.m. that day, the family dog escaped their house. Her 12-year-old son chased after the dog down an alley. He was carrying a toy pellet gun.

Bad idea.

The family suspects someone called the police. A D.C. cop arrived and drew his gun  on the boy. WJLA interviewed a witness as to what happened next:

"I can hear him say, 'Get down, get down, get down.' And then when he cuffed him and I came over here I said, Can't you see it? It's a toy.'"

Police say the dog then charged the officer who shot and wounded the animal. Marshall, however, disputes that account. "No, the dog did not charge. The dog came over in a crouching position," she said.

The mother told WJLA a bullet fragment struck the boy in the head and he was treated at the hospital; police deny the claim.

But is the D.C. Police Department's Force Investigation Team taking this case? Well, no. Gwendolyn Crump tells City Desk that the case is being handled by the Fourth District.

In requesting a correction on the mother's claim, Crump writes: "MPD had no information that the boy was injured as the result of the discharge. If so, this case would have been investigated by FIT. The boy scratched his head when he laid on the ground."

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  • Dave

    What happened to the dog?

  • IHeartDC

    Great gift for children of all ages, a realistic toy gun! Parents everywhere should be securing this whimsical item for their children. Hours of fun--and simulated violence, punctuated by real violence.

  • Downtown Rez

    Nice toy guns
    do they come in pink or fuschia?

  • Jason Cherkis

    When I was growing up, we had squirt guns that looked like Uzis.

  • Downtown Rez

    When I was growing up, we punctured tennis balls, soaked them in 2-stroke fuel, set them alight, and played catch.
    I fail to see how past inappropriate behavior bears on present circumstance.

  • Q

    IHeartDC, it's not just mama who's at fault, you must understand the climate too. Much like Jason said...and to a lessor degree Downtown Rez (man the tennis ball thing was crazy), simulated violence was all part of growing up. Cap guns, laser rifles (with sounds and lights) and water pistols were the norm. They were even fashioned to look like Lugers, Colts, etc. BB and Pellet guns, etc. were the norm too, if you had money. And you knew if you got caught with any of them outside of a hunting activity you would be in trouble. Still, what's a kid to do when he sees Police shows, Long Ranger, John Wayne, etc.

    Anyways, around the 1980's urban violence spiraled out of control due to an increased drug culture and voila, you get an outcry to cease making them. The manufacturer's response, still make the guns but make them pink, purple, red and orange. Add to that our current "Terrorism Fear Culture", i.e., call in EVERYTHING that looks suspicious and anything is suspect.

    If you want to deal with the mom for buying him the look-a-like gun, also deal with the culture of violence, TV programming, etc. I don't blame the cop, but clearly the dog could've been on a leash as well.

  • Jason Cherkis

    Well the dog did run out of the house. The dog wasn't being walked and merely darted off. How many Lost Dogs are there on the listserv? It happens. I'm not sure why the cop had to shoot at the dog.

  • Q

    Downtown Rez,

    I checked out the site, are you kidding me? The Disclaimer says it all:

    "Disclaimer: All Airsoft guns are sold with an orange tip. It is illegal to remove the orange tip. Removing the orange tip will void your warranty. You must be 18 years of age or older to purchase any Airsoft gun. We are not responsible for any harm or accident caused by any misuse of these Airsoft guns.

    This is a toy and is not the real. Any related trademarks, copyrights and/or other protected material are held by their respective companies., it's parent company nor any of it's affiliates make claim nor representation of the same."

    How about I don't remove the orange tip but paint it black. Even with the orange tip the only way to tell these from their real counterparts (as some of the guns are the same size) is to inspect them. I honestly don't see a cop inspecting this gun while a dog is attacking him.

  • Michael M.

    Yet further proof that DC police are idiots. Congrats Lanier!

  • Downtown Rez

    Q- Funny you should mention that- I've actually seen the black paint outlines of (what I assume are toy) guns in DC alleys. I pretty much figured whoever did it wanted to pass them off as real.

  • BillyBobThorthon

    We grow up in a society that idolizes violence, that teaches us serving your country means being a soldier, that its brave, honorably, and manly to be a gun-owner in this society. Then you criticize a 12 year old with a play gun. If he was a white child, he would not have a gun drawn on him. He won't have been ordered to lay down on the ground and watch as some officer shoots his dog. I guess if you're white in this City, you've never had a run-in with a white police officer. These guys are hard-pressed to do harm to any minority. I'm Italian, but look hispanic, and get picked on the police more times than you can imagine. I hope justice is served and this kid and his family get a huge settlement from these idiots...

  • Michael T.

    Police officer draws down on a boy who's running (chasing as it's put) with what would, at a quick glance, appear to be a real gun and then fires on a dog he claims charged him.

    This really is the "Wackiest Shooting EVER" in D.C. I mean, if I dealt with trash all day and then received a radio call for suspect with a gun, I clearly would think this is just a 12 year old with a toy gun chasing after the family dog that just ran out of the house. It's so obvious...he shouldn't have to approach with caution...hell, why even respond.

    ...and the cop is silly for thinking this is real?...funny though how no one second guesses the citizen who actually thought this might be real enough to pick up the phone and call police.

    A few of the ppl who posted comments here are the same idiots who will speculate on tomorrow's news clipping about police failing to do anything about the 13 year armed carjacker.

    Oh ppl, use yer freagin heads plz.

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