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2 men dead in DC shooting, police investigate

According to officials, the shooting happened minutes after 8:20 p.m. in the 500 block of 11th Street.

WASHINGTON — Two men were killed in a shooting in Southeast, D.C. Sunday evening, and police are still searching for the shooters. 

According to officials, the shooting happened around 8:20 p.m. in the 500 block of 11th Street SE. During a press briefing, officials stated that officers heard the gunshots before arriving at the scene.

Metropolitan Police Chief Robert Contee says the shooters apparently followed the victims' vehicle from another community and opened fire while it was moving. He said it appears there was an exchange of gunfire.

When police arrived at the scene, they found two men shot in an SUV. One man was pronounced dead at the scene and the other died at the hospital, according to officials.

One of the victims was identified as Othaniel Gaither, 34, of Southeast, D.C. The second victim was later identified as Hamza Halaoh, 32, of Northeast D.C.

A third person in the SUV was taken to the hospital for injuries he had from a crash believed to have occurred during the shooting.

Neighbors say the gunfire was as loud as a jackhammer right outside their windows, hearing three distinct bursts of multiple rounds. Several cars were also left smashed up in the neighborhood, and at least one business found a bullet hole in its storefront. 

"My heart is broken that I’m standing in front of you again talking about gun violence," Commander Tasha Bryant said Sunday when addressing the media. 

Currently, homicides are up 25% from this time last year. 

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