Diners flee as bloody shooting goes down outside restaurant near White House

Police have released footage of suspects fleeing the bloody shooting of two diners outside the Mexicue restaurant located in an upscale neighborhood of northwest Washington, D.C., approximately one mile from the White House.

Thursday night, while people were dining outside and enjoying their evening, gunmen allegedly shot two men and the crowd went running. Both victims were breathing and conscious when police arrived and they have reportedly been treated for non-life-threatening injuries. Both men were taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. D.C. Police Chief Contee said in a press conference that one victim was hit in the arm and the other was hit in the chest. One man appeared to be the target of the shooting and the other was possibly a bystander.

Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying the shooters who fled in an “older black sedan” after the shooting occurred. The Metropolitan Police Department has footage of the incident that occurred around 8:20 p.m. at 14th and Riggs Street, Northwest. Witnesses claim they heard 20 to 30 gunshots.

Shootings and crime are surging in D.C. and this is just the latest event to make headlines. Police are offering a $10,000 reward to anyone who can provide information that leads to a conviction in the shooting. Anyone with information is asked to contact D.C. police at (202) 727-9099 or text your tip to the Department’s TEXT TIP LINE at 50411.

Police released photos of the suspects involved in the shooting who remain at large. They are reportedly on the lookout for a black man who is wearing a lime green and yellow hooded sweater in connection to the shooting. He may be driving a black Honda Civic.

“I think this really kind of speaks to the brazenness of some of the criminals that we’re seeing in our community. Just prior to this shooting, members of the Metropolitan Police Department recovered a firearm just blocks away from here,” stated Chief Contee. “We’re just seeing a proliferation of firearms in our communities.”

CNN’s Jim Acosta was reportedly near the scene when the shooting occurred. “Just hear[d] what sounded like gun shots on 14th street in NW DC. People fleeing the popular Le Diplomate restaurant which seemed a few blocks away,” he hurriedly tweeted.

Jess Davidson, 27, was in the restaurant when the shooting started.

“It’s terrifying,” she told the BBC. “I thought I was going to die. It’s something that you always fear, living in the US, but nothing can prepare you for that moment. It’s incredibly angering – people feel the way that I do every single day when they’re in shopping malls, baseball games, movie theatres, schools.”

(Video Credit: FOX 5 Washington DC)

Just three weeks ago in that same district, a man was shot and killed while walking with his wife a block away from Thursday’s crime scene.

Last week, a 6-year-old girl was shot and killed outside Nationals Park during a game. Five other people were wounded in the shooting.

As of Thursday, there have been 106 murders in D.C. this year according to police data. Mayor Muriel Bowser has officially directed the police department to use any overtime necessary to address public safety and stop the surge in crime.

“I’m outraged, the chief is outraged, and the community should be outraged,” the Democrat mayor said to reporters.

Marinos Marinos, who is a representative for the D.C. Police Union, told Fox News, “I think everybody is [concerned with crime]. I think the mayor’s concerned with the crime rate. I think management with MPD is concerned about the crime rate. And I can speak for the rank-and-file of the [MPD], and we are very concerned about the crime rate.”

The latest shooting prompted swift reaction on social media:

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