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Police: Suspected gunman in quadruple NW shooting found dead in apartment with 'sniper-type setup'

One man, two women and a 12-year-old girl were shot near the intersection of Connecticut Avenue and Van Ness Street NW.

WASHINGTON — A suspected gunman connected to a quadruple shooting Friday near the campus of the University of District of Columbia (UDC) in Northwest, D.C. was found dead in a nearby building, according to DC Police. One man, two women and a 12-year-old girl were shot, and three of the victims were treated at local hospitals. 

In a news conference Friday night, DC Police Chief Robert Contee said police believe the alleged shooter died by suicide while officers were entering a fifth-floor apartment where he had set up a "sniper-type setup" with a tripod. Six firearms, including several long guns, and multiple rounds of ammunition, were found inside the apartment. Contee noted that some of the guns may have been obtained legally. 

Credit: Metropolitan Police Department
Metropolitan Police Chief Robert Contee says investigators recovered six firearms from the suspect's apartment after he was found dead. The were long guns, handguns and "multiple rounds of ammunition."

The police chief declined to identify the suspect, pending notification to the family but said that the police had stopped looking for a person of interest previously identified as 23-year-old Raymond Spencer of Fairfax. 

Contee added that the male victim was a retired DC Police officer, and he, and one of the women shot, sustained critical injuries. A second woman and a 12-year-old girl had minor injuries. 

WATCH: Patricia Termini was one of the women shot in the back. 

“Today, evil reared its ugly head in our community,” Contee said. “People were unnecessarily shot in our community as a result of a senseless act of violence.”

Several schools, businesses and apartment buildings in the area were evacuated or asked to shelter in place for safety. After six hours, UDC lifted its shelter in place order just before 9:15 p.m. 

"Unfortunately I had to look in parents' eyes tonight who are terrified," Mayor Muriel Bowser said. "They were terrified thinking of what might happen to their children. We have experienced this too much in our country. The epidemic of gun violence, the easy access to weapons has got to stop. People should not be scared taking their children to school."

Contee said a police perimeter around the impacted area was being taken down to allow residents back into their buildings. 

"All of the children that were in the schools that sheltered in place are safe ... and all of the children have been reunited with their family members," Contee said. "We are very thankful that no more of our children were injured tonight." 

When asked about a video that has been circulated on social media purportedly recorded by the shooter, Contee said his department is still investigating the origins of the video. 

"We don't know if it was streamed live or recorded and then posted," Contee said. "It looks very much to be authentic but we just want to make sure of that." 

Assistant Police Chief Stuart Emerman said several individuals who were running from the scene were detained to determine if they were suspects or witnesses, early in the response, but those questioned have been cleared.

Parents of students at locked-down schools were asked not to come to the schools, and the Cleveland Park Library served as a family reunification center.

Witnesses at the scene described seeing people running around, hiding under cars, and multiple parents said they were coming to pick up their children from the nearby Edmund Burke School. Edmund Burke is a private co-ed school for sixth-12th graders. 

A Howard Law School student, who did not want to give her name, said she was on a study break when she heard multiple rounds of gunshots. 

"It was an entire standstill, everybody stopped their cars," she said. "We were bumper to bumper. We didn't know what to do ... Then we heard another round go off, at least 20 shots. We started to go down Van Ness and all the cars stopped again, and we heard another round go off. We didn't know how close the bullets were so we just stopped right there."

The student said she saw adults and children running in the area.

Credit: WUSA9
A man and a woman and a juvenile girl were shot Friday near UDC's campus.

The Sheridan School, another private school nearby for kindergarten through eighth-grade students, sent a letter to families Friday afternoon notifying them of the shooting. 

"We have received word that there is currently a situation at an apartment building in Van Ness and Connecticut involving an active shooter," the letter said. "Everyone who is at Sheridan is safe and currently inside the building. We have spoken with MPD and they indicated we are not in danger." 

The U.S. Park Police, Secret Service, FBI, ATF and UDC Police all assisted with the investigation and search for persons involved in the shooting.

This investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is asked to call DC Police at 202-727-9099 or text 50411. 

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