An employee was shot dead in an attempted robbery on a Sunday morning in a Whole Foods Market, frightening buyers and guests – many with small children – who fled the People's Assembly site in the trendy H-Street Corridor the city.
DC Police chief Peter Newsham said the victim, a cashier, was beaten twice after he armed himself with the armed man who demanded money and tried to reach into the drawer of the cashier. The cashier had "heroically" resisted, Newsham said.
The victim was hospitalized in serious condition but has since stabilized, Newsham said. No one else was hurt by the suspect, who was not arrested, the boss told reporters outside the store. "We all feel very bad," said bakery manager Said Kada, who worked in the store's kitchen when he heard a shot. "It's as if someone in your family had been shot."
Employees and customers described a chaotic, shattering scene in the shop on 600 H Street NE. The shooting at 10:50 AM appeared to have taken place in Box 4, where drops of blood were visible next to splintered food on the cement floor.
Police said on Sunday afternoon that they had found a red Honda Civic Zipcar associated with the suspect, but had not found the man they believe that he had shot him.
James 38-year-old Jackson, who lives in the neighborhood, had breakfast with his family in the store when the shootings took place.
"We heard a commotion, screamed, it sounded as if something had been knocked over, and then there was a shot of shots," he said. "I grabbed my wife and his 15-month son and ran down the street and called the police. "
Some employees fled through a back door, customers were rushed into food preparation areas to take cover.
In The meat department described one employee to customers who were "running through my cutting room into my cool box, and everyone was shouting," Shots fired & # 39 ;, "said the employee, who did not want to be identified because he was not authorized with the Speak Media.
Ramsey Taylor, a neighborhood resident, was just leaving the store when he saw several families with small children running out of the door, another woman ran off, he said. cried and said someone had been shot.
After the shoot, employees and customers gathered outside the shop's entrance. Customers who had fled were allowed to return to collect their belongings. The shop was closed and the staff sent home.
Whole Foods referred the local authorities to the shooting. However, the company declined to say if filming would add security or if details would be provided at the time the store re-opened. However, the company made a brief statement.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with our team member at this time and we are grateful for the first field forces, including the Metropolitan Police Department and the DC Fire and EMS Division," the company said.
The Whole Foods is a relatively new addition to the booming H Street Corridor, a mile and a half distance known for its performing arts center, nightlife and restaurants.
The church has changed dramatically in the last 10 years. Empty store fronts have been replaced with trendy shops and bars, luxury condominiums and a tram line leading east from Union Station.
The 40,000-square-foot Whole Foods opened in March 2017, replacing a dilapidated supermarket. A Washington Post story for its opening was titled "The New H Street Whole Foods Wants To Be Your Neighborhood Pub," highlighting the store's many attractions beyond all food.
While raids on rifles are in sight throughout the city this year, such crimes are underway in the police patrol area, which includes Whole Foods according to urban crime.
"Such shooting is unacceptable," said DC councilor Charles Allen (D-), who lives nearby and represents the neighborhood.
The incident signals "the hard work we need to do to end all forms of violence," he said, bringing illegal firearms off the Strait of Washington.
The people who came to market on Sunday afternoon were surprised when they learned of the filming.
Jennifer Chung, 33, lives in a multi-family house attached to the store and attends Whole Foods several times a day, she says. She found the shoot "somehow amazing."
"You mean the neighborhood is completely transformed, so do not expect this," she said.
Bridget Fields, 28, came to market with her bike and grabbed food only to find it closed.
"I'm pretty shocked right now," Fields said. "I know the neighborhood was not great, but it got better."
"I drive around here all the time," she added.
The police released photos from the store and asked the residents for help in identifying the man was involved in shooting. The police described him as a black man between the ages of 25 and 30, with long dreads and a long black coat, a gray hoodie, and brown pants.
Joe Heim and Natalie Jennings contributed to this report.