July 19 at 11:48 AM
The robberies piled up in Northwest Washington’s Bloomingdale neighborhood, and police and residents grew concerned. They held an urgent meeting in June, and a police commander beefed up patrols.
A crime suppression team hunted for a group of robbers who used a silver handgun and demanded victims provide the codes to unlock their cellphones. Overnight, police on motorcycles and scooters darted along the dark streets. Detectives hid in an unmarked surveillance van, hoping to catch the robbers before they struck again.
In the early morning hours of July 10, a 27-year-old staffer with the Democratic National Committee, Seth Rich, was attacked and fatally shot two blocks from a rowhouse he shared with roommates. Police said they have not yet confirmed a motive but said they believe an attempted robbery may have turned fatal.
“My biggest concern with armed robberies is that they could evolve into a shooting,” D.C. Police Cmdr. William Fitzgerald told more than 50 Bloomingdale residents during another urgent meeting Monday.