Crash kills two suspects, injures two D.C. police
Metropolitan Police investigators continue to gather information on an overnight police chase that ended in a deadly crash early Sunday.
"We saw all the cop lights and were like, what's going on?" says Isabella Deleon, who lives along the 400 Block of Taylor Street NE.
The impact, around three Sunday morning, left a Plymouth mini-van a pile of twisted metal, the tires barely attached.
Killed in the crash were two young adults from Northwest D.C. - Thaddeus Alphonso Howard, 19, and William Kurland Joseph Adams IV, 18.
It was a violent, deadly end for what began as a shooting call, escalated into a police chase, and ended in a crash. Howard and Adams were killed, and a male teenager is in very critical condition after all three were ejected from the van.
"They were saying there's debris everywhere", says Kristine Deleon. "Just think how a car ended up I'm debris like that, oh my God."
Police say it all began around three Sunday morning. Emergency dispatchers received several 911 calls about gunfire along the 700 Block of Otis Place NW.
Tony Steward's wife was among those who heard shots ring out.
"She said , 'you know I heard a couple of gunshots', which is unusual, Stewart says.
Investigators say a man at Georgia and New Hampshire Avenues flagged down officers, telling them someone had shot at him from inside a burgundy Plymouth van with Virginia tags.
Police spotted the van and pursued it to Taylor Street. At the same time, an officer driving a marked car scrambled to get his vehicle out of the way.
Orange markings, and a skid mark show where the driver lost control on a downhill slope, before the van flipped over and crashed.
"The suspect vehicle hit a tree and even though the officer had braked and pulled over to the side, the suspect vehicle landed on the hood of the police car", says DC Police Commander James Crane.
The two officers inside the cruiser were transported, but were not badly hurt. Those inside the van were not so lucky.
"It's so sad, the outcome is very sad", recalled a neighbor, who didn't want his name used.
Investigators are also hoping the man who first flagged down officers, will come forward. Meanwhile, Stuart, who has lived on Otis Place for decades, can only shake his head.
"I think people are desperate", he says. "These are hard times and people are doing whatever they think they need to do."