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Video: Woman hides behind Christmas tree after hearing dozens of gunshots right outside DC apartment

In a viral video, two people were apparently shooting at each other repeatedly in a Columbia Heights neighborhood filled with children.

WASHINGTON — A short but chilling video captures the fear that's stalking some D.C. neighborhoods.

Rachel, who didn't want to use her last name, was just getting ready for dinner Monday night when she heard someone open fire, seemingly right outside her apartment on Fairmont Avenue in Columbia Heights. Taking cover behind her Christmas tree, Rachel started rolling. In the video, you first hear one person firing steadily, and then it sounds like a second person shoots back at a rapid clip.

"It sounded like the return fire was a modified semi-automatic," Rachel said. "The first one sounded like a regular handgun to me."

Her video only last four seconds, but many social commenters found it terrifying. After four seconds, Rachel realized she better take cover and scrap video. 

"Normally, I'm a curious cat," she said. "But this time, I heard automatic fire, so I realized it was better to stay away from the windows. It was absolutely silent after. Luckily no one was hurt, no one was injured. The cops came by, probably 45 seconds, but they were obviously still in pursuit. They came back later to tape off the street."

Police are now staging high-profile units on Fairmont and the nearby blocks.

Rachel said gunfire is fairly common in the area, just not automatic or semi-automatic gunfire, like she thought she heard Monday night. 

"These communities and this area have been living with this sort of thing for decades," she said. 

But she said the last few years have felt palpably more dangerous, but she's determined not to be scared off. 

"I'm very wary when I'm walking around by myself," she said. "And at night, I'm very wary about what's happening, and I'm constantly thinking, if shooting starts, where can I duck behind if that happens. And that's a reality for a lot of people in this city."

A police spokeswoman said officers never found any victim-- or any suspects -- in that shooting. Police have stepped up their presence and outreach in hopes of keeping people safe, across the city. 

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