The Washington Post has a good sum-up of Thursday’s events at the Van Ness Days Inn, but here are some of the key elements:
Five people were shot during a party in one of the hotel rooms. One woman later died from her wounds. Investigators were trying to piece together what started the shootout at around 3:30 a.m.
The room was registered to people from Maryland. For a few months in 2020, the Days Inn was one of the District’s Covid-19 quarantine sites for the unhoused and others could not isolate in their own homes. The District has said that it is no longer using the hotel as a shelter. There is no evidence that unhoused people were involved in the shootings.
Mayor Muriel Bowser made a point of saying so while addressing an afternoon community meeting called by ANC 3F chair Claudette David.
There is no evidence that any unhoused people were involved, and Bowser specifically rejected that link: "I don’t want to conflate this incident with that because that’s not the case," she said forcefully.
— Martin Austermuhle (@maustermuhle) January 27, 2022
2D Commander Duncan Bedlion, MPD Chief Robert Contee, and Ward 3 Council member Mary Cheh also spoke.
Cheh took note of the crowd of neighbors who had gathered, saying it “reflects the fact that the community is extraordinarily concerned with the rise in crime.” Cheh was referring to a recent increase in police calls from Van Ness and Forest Hills.
Police said they have received 278 calls about the Days Inn in the past two years, 73 of them in the last six months.
Over 2 years ( 2020 & 2021 ) @DCPoliceDept was called to @DCDaysInn on Connecticut Ave NW, where 1 person was murdered & 4 others shot last night, 278 times including 17 assaults & 17 domestic violence @nbcwashington pic.twitter.com/zGmEFDvuci
— Mark Segraves (@SegravesNBC4) January 28, 2022
Days Inn is a Wyndham Hotels brand, but the location at 4400 Connecticut is managed by Coakley & Williams Hotel Management. Director of Operations Jamie Howser declined to comment on community concerns when contacted by the Post but offered up a statement with prayers for the shooting victims.
In its own statement, Van Ness Main Street expressed sadness for the victims, and revealed that the hotel property and adjacent parking lot and parking garage were recently listed for sale through CBRE, which says the updated Comprehensive Plan allows for two residential buildings on the three parcels.