The DC Metropolitan Police Department said that residents were enjoying Independence Day festivities on Meade Street in the northeast area of the city when someone in a dark SUV drove opened fire on them at around 1am ET.
Assistant Chief Leslie Parsons said in an early morning press conference that the dark-coloured SUV was driving through the block when it suddenly “stopped and it fired shots in the direction of some of our residents that were outside, just celebrating the fourth of July”.
Nine people were wounded in the shooting, all suffering non-life-threatening injuries.
Among the victims were two children aged just nine and 17 years old.
Officers were called to reports of a shooting and several of the victims were taken to local hospitals for treatment. Other victims sought their own treatement, police said.
While still in the preliminary stages of the investigation, investigators believe the shooting was a targeted attack.
“It appears that the shooting was targeted towards those residents and the victims who were shot,” said the assistant police chief.
Police are searching for the dark-coloured SUV, with MPD and ATF agents leading the investigation.
Anyone with information, photos or footage of the shooting is urged to call MPD at 202-727-9099 or text 50411
The shooting makes the DC neighbourhood just the latest to be rocked by gun violence over what has been a deadly July 4 holiday for America.
It comes after five people were killed in a mass shooting in the Kingsessing neighbourhood of Philadelphia on the eve of July 4.
The shooting unfolded at around 8.30pm on Monday when the shooter, dressed in a bullet-proof vest and ski mask and armed with an AR-15-style rifle and a handgun, began firing at victims “seemingly at random”, said Philadelphia police.
Five people were killed in the attack: Lashyd Merritt, 20; Dymir Stanton, 29; Ralph Moralis, 59; Daujan Brown, 15; and Joseph Wamah Jr, 31.
Two children – aged two and 13 – were also shot but are in stable condition.
The 40-year-old suspect – who has not been publicly named – is expected to appear in court on Wednesday to be arraigned on murder charges.
This came hours before three people were killed in a mass shooting at the ComoFest event in Fort Worth, Texas.
No suspects have been identified in that incident but police believe several unidentified began firing into the crowd of revellers.
It marked just one of four shootings where at least 17 people were shot – three of them fatally – in Fort Worth on the night of July 3. The other three shoootings took place at a home, an AMC movie theatre, and in a car.
In the wake of the string of shootings over the holiday, President Joe Biden renewed his calls for Congress to take action by passing common-sense gun control measures.