Our townhouse is in Southwest, which to local DC people seems to be not very well known. I assume this is because it is still not very developed, but non the less, my roomates and I are very content down here. We have the waterfront fish market, the Nats stadium, Safeway ( they just completed the new one!) and Zanzibar! We make the most of it.
Of course, like any big city there are good parts and bad parts. I don't consider ours particularly bad, though we sometimes like to joke that we live in the "ghetto soufwest" due to a few rough surrounding neighborhoods. Honestly, I have never felt concerned or unsafe walking around the area. The rule of thumb though is to just not be stupid, and mind your own business. Don't go walking down certain streets , or engage in conversations at 1 in the morning.
Last night, I went to a Nats game with my roomates. We all came home from work, fired up the grill, and indulged ourselves with tuna steaks and bud diesel. Good times. We only live 4 blocks from the stadium so we walk to the games, which is most excellent especially since its summer.
After the game, I was walking back with the Ginjah Ninja (his new nickname will become clear) and Duff. We were on M St. which is a fairly busy street which is the optimal (safe) route to the game. It would be faster to travel another route, but like I said, there are some things you know not to do. Even though I had been warned, I tried the inland route once. Bad idea.
So as we walked by the basketball courts, (which I had just finished explaining by plans to ball with the locals over the summer) , we heard a series of loud bangs, probably less than 50 yards away. This was happening as we were crossing the street. I didn't even look in that direction, disming it as fireworks, and continued blabbing about the basketball courts. It continued, and I looked over to see Ginjah Ninja going into crouch mode telling me that it was gunshots. I looked down the street and saw a group of people under a tree in a poorly lit corner of the park, the blasts still going off, and a guy sprinting from that area. I still wasn't entirely convinced it was gunshots, but we kept moving. I kept telling Ginjah that it wasn't gunshots, that we were fine, ect. After we were some distance from the area, we turned around and waited to see what would happen. Probably about 3-4 minutes after the whole thing occured (seemed like a while, especially since there is a police station down the street), we saw about 5 cop cars speed down that same street we had just been at, and saw an ambulance, firetruck, ect.
The Ginjah's suspicions had been confirmed. We just sat there in disbelief at what had just happened. Turns out, some guy just got shot in the foot, probably over some dispute. What I imagined happening is two guys got in an argument, the other pulled out a gun, shot him in the foot. Then as the victim ran off, the other guy fired shots in the air to scare him off, or he was actually aiming to kill the guy and missed. Who knows. The police report was really brief and incomplete. What is certain is that there was a lot more than one shell casing.
Anyways, turned out to be an interesting night. Didn't really sink in till later, that DAMN. Thats two blocks from me! Oh well, what can you do. I mean , at least stuff like this will keep yuppies away for the time being.