Three shot near Ballou High School in Southeast Washington

(Photo: Sam Ford)

WASHINGTON (WJLA) - Metropolitan police are searching for two suspects believed to have been involved in a shooting Tuesday morning in Southeast D.C. near Ballou High School.

"I heard four gunshots and I saw kids running," said witness Mary Cuthbert.

The 3100 block of Martin Luther King Avenue on Tuesday morning was a crime scene around 9 a.m. Police say gunfire erupted in the midst of a crowd of young people – many of them Ballou High School students – at a bus stop.

"It appears there was an altercation on a they exited the bus, shots were fired," described D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier.

The shooting left three victims in with gunshot wounds, but police said all were conscious and breathing. A D.C. fire and emergency services spokesman said both were transported to nearby hospitals, one with life-threatening injuries and the other with serious but non-life-threatening injuries. The third victim was taken to the Ballou High School nurse's office with minor injuries. Two of the victims are 17 years old and one is 20 years old, Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier said.

A number of youths fled into this phone store, where glass was shattered by a bullet; owner Danny Seato says he was putting batteries into a device when he heard the shots and a victim came in to lay on his floor.

"I just tried to keep him calm -- I held his hand, gripped his hand," he said.

Residents complain that this area is too much of a hang-out, as the shooting happened when the kids should already have been in school.

"So they're running back-and-forth all morning...the kids lingering," said former school board member, Trayon White.

The loitering has been a problem for a long time, according to residents:

"So we get 150 kids standing out here every morning, every day, and the police don't do anything," said Rodney Bunn.

Police are reportedly looking for two young males. The suspects are both described as African-American. One suspect is described as being 5-foot-6 and 160 pounds with a ponytail and wearing a black jacket. The second suspect was last seen wearing a black snowsuit and a white top.

Shortly after the shooting, Ballou High School was put on lock down and Simon and King elementary schools, and Hart Middle School. The alerts were lifted and the lock down canceled just before 11 a.m. Tuesday.

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