D.C. firefighter shot by masked suspect in robbery attempt in Southeast

WASHINGTON (WJLA) - An off-duty D.C. Fire captain was shot by a masked suspect in Southeast Saturday afternoon, police say.

And MPD detectives were back at Bruce Place on Sunday, knocking on doors and looking for answers.

Residents and members of the nearby “His Church” congregation are still stunned by the shooting.

"People should be free to be able to just walk along, take a casual walk. It's just sad," says church member Vivett Clayton.

According to a police report, the 52-year-old captain was off-duty and walking home in the 1800 block of Bruce Place SE with another firefighter around 3 p.m., when a man wearing a ski mask approached them from behind.

He said “Give it up!” before he started to shoot at them.

"We heard the shots, but we thought they were fireworks," says one female witness.

Witnesses also told police they heard at least five shots. The captain was hit once in his side, and gunfire also shattered this car window.

After the incident, the firefighter was taken to the firehouse nearby in the 2400 block of Irving St. and then to a hospital. He had non life-threatening injuries and is expected to make a full recovery.

"We came here because we want to make a difference in the neighborhood," says church elder Palton Clayton. "We never hear anything like this in broad daylight...Our duty is to build up the community to prevent violence."

It’s unclear why the firefighter took the captain to Engine Co. 32, which is about six blocks away, instead of calling 911 from the scene.

Witnesses told police the gunman ran in the direction of Alabama Avenue.