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1 dead after 4 shootings in 3 hours, police say

DC Police Chief Robert Contee calls the recent surge in gun violence "unacceptable behavior."

WASHINGTON — Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officers are investigating four separate shootings that occurred in the District Monday night and into Tuesday morning, sending four men to the hospital where one of the victims died.

Police say one of the surviving victims was shot after suspects robbed him.

Police say the violence started around 9:40 p.m. in MPD's Seventh District when officers were called to the 2300 block of Mount View Place in Southeast D.C. after a Good Samaritan contacted police to report a man suffering a knee injury.  

Watch Commander Lt. Dien-Long Tran says when DC Fire and EMS arrived on the scene, they found the man had actually been shot. He was taken to a local hospital where police say he is recovering.

The victim told police he was approached by two suspects in masks who took his cell phone, then shot him. The victim had no way to call for help until he encountered the Good Samaritan, according to police. 

 Around 11:35 p.m. officers in MPD's Fourth District were called to the 5000 block of South Dakota Ave. NE after receiving a call from a citizen who found a shooting victim in the area, police said. Capt. John Terry, Watch Commander for MPD's Fourth District, says officers found a man suffering from a gunshot wound. After all life-saving efforts failed, the man was pronounced dead at a local hospital. MPD has identified the man as 26-year-old Zekariya Elmi, of Alexandria, Virginia.

Just over a half hour later, back in the Seventh District, police were called to the 3400 block of 22nd St. SE after a man reported he was shot while sitting in his vehicle, Lt. Tran said.  

Police were already alerted to the sound of gunshots in the area and found the man suffering from a gunshot wound to the leg when they arrived on scene. The victim stated a silver four-door sedan pulled up next to his vehicle and someone fired a shot through the driver's side door, striking the victim in the leg, Tran said.  Police say it is unclear if the victim knew his assailants.

The latest incident occurred in the 4400 block of E St. SE around 12:50 a.m. Lt. Derek Dude, Watch Commander for MPD's Sixth District, says police were called to the area for a report of a shooting.  Once on scene they found a man shot in the leg.  DC Fire and EMS transported the victim to a local hospital where police say he is being treated for his injury.  So far there is no information available on possible suspects or motive in the shooting. 

Officials say the investigations into these incidents are ongoing.

This latest batch of shootings comes just hours after MPD Police Chief Robert Contee III announced a new intelligence-led policing unit focusing on violent crime, called the Violent Crime Impact Team. 

The initiative will place an emphasis on partnership between local and federal law enforcement with a goal of enhancing investigative abilities and removing illegal guns from the streets.

In a joint press conference with the mayor Monday, Contee was unable to conceal his growing frustration with the seemingly endless violent crime across the District, using phrases like "reckless regard" "unacceptable behavior" "disturbing" and "ridiculousness." 

“I am pleading with our communities, with our city as a whole, as we focus on this issue, this is serious business and people are scared," the police chief said. "And when people are scared, we have to take a different approach a different look in terms of how we're doing the things that we do." 

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