This past weekend, Washington, D.C. held its annual DC Caribbean Festival, which bills itself as “one city, one parade, one love.”
Except the 2011 variety was anything but.
Two separate incidents marred the weekend festival. One man was shot and three others were injured after gunfire broke out between rival gangs near the festival’s parade route. Then, in an unconnected event, a brawl broke out at Howard University during the parade.
Let’s start with the gunfire first and then get to the brawl. Here’s what we know so far.
The incident took place a few minutes after 5 p.m. on Gresham Place NW, near Georgia Avenue NW. That was the parade’s major thoroughfare. Though the parade had ended around 4 p.m., many bystanders were still in the area by the time, according to the WaPo.
Police insist that the shooting was a neighborhood matter and that unfortunately, three bystanders got caught in between. “We believe three of the four are innocent bystanders,” Assistant Police Chief Diane Groomes said, reports Fox News. Two males and one female were amongst the injured. One of them is believed to be in critical condition.
Police have identified Robert Foster Jr., 43, of Alexandria, VA, as the man who was shot and killed Saturday afternoon. No arrests have been made, but police did recover the weapon used in the killing.
“I don’t understand the violence. I don’t know the purpose. I’ve always been anti-gun,” said Anita Foster, the deceased’s mother. It is believed that Foster was not the intended target in the killing, but happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Police believe that intended target was among those injured in Saturday’s shooting, Graham adds.
“For the second time in how many weeks or months, you know you have an intended target and you have innocent bystander dead,” says Graham.
Graham says he wants to know what the intended target was doing back in D.C. The council member says the target was under court supervision and was sent to New York for treatment following the shooting in February.
Incredibly, police are also saying there was an unrelated stabbing incident that occurred just a few blocks away. An arrest has been made in the stabbing.
Further, at Howard University there aren’t too many details on the brawl that broke out, except there is excellent video footage, courtesy of YouTuber TheNexusMind, but first spotted over atWorld Star Hip Hop.
You’ll definitely want to stick this video out, which does get boring in some places, but right around the 3:25 mark turns into a full scale WWE-style wrestling bout, complete with steel chairs getting lowered onto people’s heads.
All of this is to say that if DC continues to host the Caribbean Festival, which began in 1993 and over the years has grown into a 25-band, 300,000-participant spectacle, you better believe that security will have the entire event on lockdown. Granted, it doesn’t appear that the shooting or stabbing was connected to the festival (until more information is revealed you might even be able to make the case that the brawl was unrelated as well), but big events like these only need to have the appearance of a connection for authorities and politicians to make sure their city is never tainted like that again.