1 Killed, 2 Hurt in Rampage on DC Metro

Police say transit worker was killed trying to protect woman from gunman
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 1, 2023 2:59 PM CST
DC Metro Worker Dies Protecting Woman From Gunman
Yellow tape is placed around Potomac Avenue Metro Station, Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Police in Washington, DC, say a heroic worker for the city's Metro transit system was killed Wednesday as he tried to protect a woman from a gunman on a station platform. At least two other people were injured in the rampage, which involved a "series of individual" shooting scenes. Devin Jennings, 19, tells the Washington Post that he was on a bus from Maryland when he saw a man threaten to shoot a fellow passenger—an apparent stranger whom the gunman instructed to hang up his phone. Jennings says the bus passenger responded, "Yes, sir," and then exited the bus as it pulled up to the Potomac Avenue Station. Jennings says the gunman chased the man, shooting at him; as the gunman passed Jennings, he reportedly said, "You be safe today. I’m the killmonger today."

Police say the man the shooter threatened on the bus was shot in the legs, NBC Washington reports. Inside the station, they say the shooter shot somebody at a fare machine in the legs before going to the platform, where two employees tried to intervene when he got into an altercation with the woman on the platform. "He’s walking around brandishing a firearm and just randomly engaging people in confrontation. He’s clearly agitated about something," said Metropolitan Police Department Executive Assistant Chief of Police Ashan Benedict.

Benedict says one worker—identified as Robert Cunningham, 64, a mechanic in the transit agency's power department—who tried to intervene was immediately shot dead. "His heroism has to be recognized here today," Benedict said. He said the other employee managed to de-escalate the situation and passengers tackled the man as he tried to get on a train. The shooter was taken into custody and his weapon was retrieved from the tracks, police said. "We don’t know a lot about this shooter at this moment, other than we had a person with a gun who’s created yet another tragedy in our city," said Mayor Muriel Bowser. (More Washington, DC stories.)

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