Murder investigated in downtown D.C.'s dual day and night personalities

Police scoured the area after the murder of Paul Danzo. Photo: ABC7

In Downtown Washington, streets are packed with people going home Friday afternoons. And as quickly as the heart of the city empties out, the nightlife crowd takes over.

"During the day, everybody is going to work,” said Mawuse Matias, a resident of Clinton, MD, who commutes into the city for work. "It's very rushed. Everything is very rushed."

Matias knows well how things change as it gets darker.

"It's very busy. Hard to find parking," she said.

"It's a nice area to work in,” said Eve Dixon, who also commutes from Clinton, MD. "It comes alive on Fridays…that I know."

"Changes to a kind of nightlife,” Silver Spring resident Steven Willinghan said.

ABC 7 talked to all three commuters near Balletto Nightclub on 17th Street and L, where surveillance video caught two men police are calling “persons of interest” in a murder case.

Last Thursday morning, 24 year old Paul Danzo was shot in the head while in a car near the Northwest nightclub.

It happened after the club hosted a party featuring NFL and college football stars, police said.

Surveillance also shows the two men leaving a parking garage in a BMW.

"Usually you hear about crime happening in Adams Morgan and areas like that and not really in NW DC,” Matias said.

Dixon comes to work as early as 5 a.m. and said sometimes she runs into people leaving the clubs.

"I do see a lot of unsteady people walking around,” she said.

Dixon can’t imagine some of those people thinking straight.

"In most big cities, you have good parts and bad parts,” said Angelo Dinkov, a Tysons resident. “Stuff happens. You can't dwell on it."