Three Washington, DC, Officers Were Wounded in a Shooting During an Animal Cruelty Arrest. the Suspect is in Custody After an Hours-long Standoff

Credits: New York Daily News

Police in Washington, DC, reported that a suspect accused of shooting three officers from the Metropolitan Police Department while they were serving an arrest warrant for animal cruelty surrendered after an hours-long standoff.

The suspect, identified as 46-year-old Julius James, was arrested and charged with cruelty to animals, according to a news release from the police department on Wednesday night. Additional charges related to the shooting of the officers are pending.

The incident unfolded when officers from the criminal apprehension unit and the Humane Rescue Alliance responded to a residence in the 5000 block of Hanna Place SE, in the southeast part of the city, to execute the arrest warrant for animal cruelty around 7:30 a.m. ET, Police Chief Pamela A. Smith said in an earlier news conference on Wednesday.

Washington Officers (Credits: 6ABC)

While the officers were positioned outside the door of the home, the suspect allegedly fired multiple shots through the door, striking the three officers, according to the police news release.

The injured officers were transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, Chief Smith stated. She provided an update in a news conference later that evening, noting that the officers were not facing any “serious, critical injuries” and were in stable condition.

Additionally, a fourth officer sustained injuries unrelated to gunfire, police said. All four officers were reported to be stable and expected to recover, as per the news release.

During the standoff, the suspect reportedly discharged his weapon sporadically while barricaded inside the home, Chief Smith said.

Negotiators spent hours communicating with the suspect, who exhibited varying levels of demeanor, from agitation to cooperation, according to Chief Smith. The suspect ultimately surrendered on Wednesday night.

As a precautionary measure, some residents in the immediate area were evacuated from their homes, Chief Smith stated. She did not disclose the exact number of individuals relocated or their relocation sites.

Authorities also closed off several adjacent streets and advised the public to steer clear of the area.

A source reported that nearly a dozen pit bulls were found inside the home.

The Humane Rescue Alliance, an animal services provider, released a statement expressing solidarity with their partners at MPD and wished the injured officers a swift recovery.

The shooting incident occurred against a backdrop of increased violent crime in Washington, DC, over the past year, diverging from the trend observed in many other US cities, which saw a decrease in violent crime.

Police data from 2022 to 2023 indicated a 35% rise in homicides, a 67% increase in robberies, and an 82% surge in motor vehicle thefts in DC.

“I won’t say DC crime is out of control,” Chief Smith remarked in her earlier news conference. “I think we have a group of individuals who do not respect law enforcement and authority. Our officers, again, were where they were supposed to be, doing exactly what they need to do, and we will continue to do that.”

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