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Person of interest named in Washington, D.C., shooting that wounded 4 near schools

A suspect wanted in connection with a Friday afternoon shooting that wounded four people near two campuses in Washington, D.C., died by suicide, authorities said.

The person is believed to have taken his own life while officers from the Metropolitan Police Department were entering an apartment where he was at the time, Metropolitan Police Chief Robert Contee said.

It wasn’t immediately clear if the suspect was Raymond Spencer, 23, who authorities identified earlier as a person of interest. Contee said authorities were no longer looking for Spencer, but he said he would not name the suspect until after his family is notified

Police earlier Friday counted at least three victims in the shooting near the city’s Embassy Row area, but later said a fourth reported to officers at the scene.

Three of the victims — a 12-year-old girl who was shot in the arm, a woman in her mid-30s and a 54-year-old man — were stabilized, Emerman said.

A woman in her mid-60s with a graze wound to her upper back was treated at the scene and released, he said.

Although some people who ran from the scene were grabbed and being questioned, no one was in custody, Emerman said at an early afternoon news conference.

If it’s determined those people were not involved, they’ll be released, he said.

Image:Police evacuate people near the scene of a shooting Friday, April 22, 2022, in northwest Washington, DC., on April 22, 2022.Jacquelyn Martin / AP

Any motive in the shooting remained unknown, Emerman said.

Authorities told people in the area of Van Ness Street, NW, and Connecticut Avenue, NW, in the Van Ness neighborhood, to shelter in place.

However, after officers swarmed the neighborhood, occupied by both Edmund Burke School, home to students in grades 6-12, and Howard University School of Law, dozens of people were escorted away.

The Edmund Burke prep school was locked down, and parents hoping to retrieve children were told to wait, Emerman said.

Mayor Muriel Bowser said late Friday that they were beginning to reunify those students with their families.

Bowser described looking into the eyes of parents who were terrified thinking of what might have happened to their children.

“We have experienced this too much in our country,” she said. “The epidemic of gun violence, the easy access to weapons, has got to stop. People should not be scared taking their children to school.”

Earlier, NBC Washington photojournalist Tarik Warner was in the area to pick his daughter up from the Edmund Burke school, which was about to wrap up for the day.

“I can confirm, I saw with my own eyes — I saw a child being carried away,” he said.

Emerman said the first reports of gunfire in the neighborhood were received at 3:20 p.m.

Metro police said they were conducting sweeps of the area in a search for suspects. The FBI and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives both said they were sending personnel to the scene.

Police did not say the campuses were directly involved in the gunfire.

Janhvi Bhojwani , Cristian Santana and Michelle Acevedo contributed.

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