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Police: 2 people killed, 3 injured in shooting at 'open-air drug market'

Police say they are looking for a black 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe with possible Virginia temporary tag 956151X in connection with the shooting.

WASHINGTON — Two people were killed and three others were injured in a shooting in Northwest D.C. Wednesday afternoon, according to DC Police.

The Metropolitan Police Department were called to North Capitol and O Street, Northwest, around 12:50 p.m. for reports of shots fired. Once on scene, they found two people with gunshot wounds, who were pronounced deceased on the scene. The victims who died were identified as 43-year-old Rashad Johnson and 53-year-old James Johnson, both of no fixed address. The two were cousins.

Three others were treated at nearby hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries, but neither their names nor their conditions have been released. All of the victims were adults, police said. 

Through an initial investigation, it was determined that a "small, black SUV" driving southbound on North Capital Street, turned right on O Street and stopped in front of a building. At least two suspects exited the car and started shooting with semi-automatic guns at people on the street, before driving away westbound on O Street.

"This appears to be an open-air drug market," Executive Assistant Chief of Police Ashan Benedict said. "MPD routinely polices this area and makes arrest for narcotics possession ... This is an ongoing problem for us so we need the community's help to continue to quell the disturbance in this area." 

The 1300 block of North Capitol Street NW, between O Street and New York Avenue NW was closed for several hours due to the police activity. Roads have since reopened.

Police say they are looking for a black 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe with possible Virginia temporary tag 956151X.

A nearby elementary school, Mundo Verde Bilingual Public Charter School, on P Street NW, was temporarily on lockdown as the shooting unfolded. The school texted parents saying that all students and staff were safe and they advised any parents nearby to stay in their cars until the scene was clear. 

"Our Cook campus was in lockdown due to a drive-by shooting at 12:50 p.m.," the school's text alert said. "All students are staff are safe inside the building. We received the all clear from MPD and will begin dismissal procedures shortly. If driving, avoid North Capital and O Street."

Wednesday was the first day of class for the charter school students, and the school has not yet said whether they will be in session on Thursday.

"This is the first day of school, where it's supposed to be exciting," parent Toni Jackson said. "And it's not the first time, unfortunately, hearing in this neighborhood the shootings and the disruption that occurs during school hours. That is definitely something that as a parent is worrisome."

This is a developing story. WUSA9 is working to confirm additional details. Stay with WUSA9 for the latest updates as they come in to our newsroom.

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