A Washington Metropolitan Policeman fired his personal handgun at several people early Friday on First and Pierce streets NW.
The policeman was off-duty at the time of the confrontation where at least one person was hit by gunfire.
Although police are releasing little information, MPD Chief Cathy L. Lanier stated in a press release that the officer [identified as Kenneth Furr] got into an argument with five people prior to the shooting. Lanier’s account of the incident was described as, “a minor collision between cars carrying Furr and five individuals but that police did not know whether the crash or the shooting came first.”
One of the people injured said Furr approached one her (a transgendered woman) as she walked into a near the incident’s location. “His eyes were bloodshot,” she said. “I could smell the liquor on his breath. He told me he wanted to pay me to have sex with me. He kept trying to get me in his car.”
The transgendered woman said Furr did not touch her, but he continued to harass her until a male friend intervened. She left the store with the friend, and they drove off with three other people in a car.
The vehicle carrying the five individuals was eventually hit by a car where Furr was behind the wheel. The woman mentioned earlier was sitting in the back seat at the time of the crash. She and her friends did not know then that the other car was Furr’s vehicle.
“He hopped out of the car, gun drawn, and started shooting at us,” said the other transgender woman, who also reported being wounded. “He was yelling, ‘What now? What now? All of y’all are going to die tonight.’ ”
Metropolitan police confirmed one man in the first car was hit by gunfire (but didn’t confirm if the shot came from Furr’s gun) and two transgender women were also injured; all three suffered injuries that were not life-threatening, police said.
In interviews, the women said that they were grazed by bullets and that a male friend was also hit.
Gwendolyn Crump, a police spokeswoman, declined to comment on the women’s accounts because the investigation is continuing.
Police said Furr, who joined the department in 1990, was charged with driving while intoxicated and assault with a dangerous weapon. Crump said Furr’s police powers had been revoked and that the gun was not his service weapon.
This all comes as two transgender people were attacked, one fatally, earlier this summer in Northeast D.C. Police said at the time that they were investigating the attacks as a “potential emerging pattern.”
“Paulette,” a Washingtonian who is also a transgendered person and returning citizen, is very concerned about this situation.
“The District needs to do more about protecting people like myself. Two transgendered persons have been assaulted since the beginning of the summer and one of them as been killed, now this? When will this ever stop?”
One Washingtonian has commented about the event on The Washington Post’s website by typing, “Assault with a deadly weapon? Ummm, why is this not attempted murder? “All of y’all are going to die tonight.” sounds like premeditation to me.”
Another commented, “A police officer drunk with a gun and then firing on unarmed civilians? This cop is wrong on so many levels. He does not get the benefit of the doubt that we (unfortunately) give to cops in situations like this.”
A third wrote, “Mr. Furr, your secret is out. We all know what you wanted, you were refused and you got mad. Your arrogance and idiocy blew your cover because, as a police officer, you knew what part of town you were in.”
Gladys Scott, a long time D.C. resident and returning citizen said, “This whole thing is messed up. Everybody’s got their own version of what went down, and in this city the truth might never be known. I don’t think they knew this guy was an off-duty cop. “
“But what I think happened,” she continued, “is this off-duty cop was drunk and probably looking for a transgendered prostitute for the night, because anyone who knows this city knows you can hit that strip, up around First Street NW for that kind of action.”
“Another thing that bothers me,” Paulette mentions, “is when you’re arrested and sentenced to prison, the government put helpless trans women in men’s prisons. Society and the Hollywood thinks we love it, but the reality is we’re subject to being raped and beaten by other inmates, and even the guards who are suppose to be helping us.”
“We get laughed at as we are stomped into a seizure for using a McDonald’s bathroom, or bludgeoned to death for dating the wrong guy, but don’t get the rights we deserve.”