Deadly shooting at subway station near CUA prompts temporary shelter-in-place order

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METRO TRAIN station shooting
A Metro train is pictured in a 2017 file photo in Washington. Teenagers were fighting inside the Brookland-CUA Metro station near The Catholic University of America April 4, 2024, when a suspect, who police say wasn’t involved in the "physical altercation," fatally shot a teenage boy. (OSV News photo/Joshua Roberts, Reuters)

WASHINGTON (OSV News) — In the hours after a Washington teenage boy was shot and killed April 4 on the platform of the Brookland-CUA Metro station, The Catholic University of America canceled evening classes and athletic practices and advised students to shelter in place as police officials investigated the incident.

“I would like to acknowledge how deeply distressing it was for members of our community who were at the Metro station at the time of the shooting. I can only imagine how disorienting it was to have witnessed such a senseless act of violence,” Peter Kilpatrick, CUA’s president, said in an open letter to the university community. “The news of a fatal shooting adjacent to campus is unsettling for all of us.”

According to the Metro Transit Police Department, the shooting occurred around 4 p.m. April 4 when teenagers in a group were fighting inside the Metro station. Police said the suspected shooter was not part of the altercation when he pulled out a firearm and began shooting. Police said an armed security guard was on the station platform at the time of the shooting and was able to shield patrons and lead them to safety. The station was closed while police investigated.

Mass offered for the shooting victim

Kilpatrick said in his open letter that as soon as university officials were aware of what he called “an active threat” at the Metro station, CUA sent out alerts canceling activities and calling for the shelter in place. He said the shelter-in-place order was lifted “after law enforcement canvassed the community and established that an active threat no longer existed.”

While the shelter-in-place order was lifted just after 6:30 p.m., the Brookland-CUA Metro station did not reopen until just before 10 p.m. that evening.

In his letter, Kilpatrick advised students affected by the shooting to “reach out to someone you trust to talk about your experience.” He also noted that the Office of the Dean of Students, Campus Ministry and the Counseling Center would be available to provide support to the university community. In addition, he said, a Mass will be offered April 5 in CUA’s St. Vincent de Paul Chapel for the repose of the soul of the shooting victim.

Patrols enhanced on campus

In the wake of the shooting, Kilpatrick said the university’s Department of Public Safety, or DPS, “will enhance patrols on campus and will continue to for the foreseeable future,” and that the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department and the Metro Transit Police will increase their patrols near the Metro station and around the campus.

Kilpatrick, in his open letter, urged the university community to “remain vigilant and work together to keep our campus as safe as possible.” He pointed out that CUA has made “many improvements on and around our campus to make it more secure,” including increased DPS visibility and armed DPS officers and supplemental security, more campus safety training classes, hiring an emergency coordinator, and installing keycard access and security cameras in all buildings.

Last July, two killings occurred on or near the university’s campus within a span of two weeks. On July 5, 2023, a 25-year-old Kentucky man visiting the District of Columbia was shot and killed on Alumni Drive as he crossed the campus headed to the metro station. On July 18, 2023, a 44-year-old Southeast Washington man was shot and killed in the 600 block of Monroe Street in the district’s Northeast quadrant not far from the university.

Kilpatrick said CUA would “partner with our local city officials to work for a safer campus, a safer Brookland, and a safer District.”

OSV News

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