Raymond Spencer of Fairfax, Va., the person of interest identified in a shooting that injured four people and sent dozens of officers to the Van Ness neighborhood in response, has committed suicide, police said.
Spencer was first identified from a video he posted on social media appearing to show shots being fired from the vantage point of an upstairs window.
The misspelled “Shool shooting” post appeared “authentic,” Washington Metropolitan Police Chief Robert Contee said, adding that they were unsure whether the footage was live-streamed or released after the incident.
Police had issued a bulletin with photographs of Spencer hours earlier, seeking him as the “person of interest” in the investigation.
Schools and properties in the Edmund Burke School district were placed under security control as the shooting and manhunt near the private college’s preparatory academy spooked students, sending anxious texts to parents.
Police were able to triangulate the suspect’s location on the fifth floor of a “particular building” with the help of eyewitnesses.
They eventually “raped the place where the suspect took his own life”, Mr Contee said, adding that authorities had seized more than half a dozen firearms, including several rifles and ammunition in the apartment.
“His intent was to kill and injure members of our community,” but investigators have yet to determine a motive, the chief said, adding that the suspect staged a “sniper-type setup” with a tripod gun stand and acted alone.
All four shooting victims were shot indiscriminately and are in stable condition, police said. They are expected to recover from their injuries.
Among the injured are a 54-year-old man, a woman in her 30s, a 12-year-old girl and a woman in her 60s who was grazed in the upper back by a bullet.
Deaven Rector, 22, a law student, told Reuters he heard three gunshots that appeared to come from the AVA Van Ness building where he lives. “At the moment the police have secured the area, and that’s for sure, but the fact that this type of chaos could be caused by a maniac on a normal Friday… The kids were about to get out of school “, did he declare.
Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser hailed the law enforcement response and condemned the epidemic of gun violence in the United States.
“Unfortunately, I had to look into the eyes of the parents who were terrified,” she said at the press conference on Friday.
“They were terrified of what might happen to their children. We’ve been through this too much in our country, the epidemic of gun violence. Easy access to weapons must end. People shouldn’t be afraid to take their children to school.