Manhunt underway after shooting near White House kills one and injures several

Rich McKay, Dan Whitcomb
Rescue vehicles are seen following a shooting in Washington DC on 19 September: CHRIS G COLLISON via REUTERS

Police hunted for two suspects believed to be armed with an assault rifle on Friday after one person was killed and five were wounded in a shooting on the streets of Washington DC about two miles from the White House.

The victims had been standing in an apartment building courtyard in the Columbia Heights neighbourhood when the drive-by shooting took place on Thursday night, Metropolitan Police commander Stuart Emerman said.

One man was killed and two of the five wounded were in critical condition, he said.

Two suspects were seen in a Nissan sedan and used an "AK style rifle", police said.

They said the incident was now over.

"Detectives are interviewing witnesses and looking for camera footage," Mr Emerman said.

ABC affiliate WJLA-TV showed ambulances carrying victims from the scene and said there had been a massive police response.

With mass shootings and gun violence a regular feature of American life, controversy over the use of assault rifles has entered the 2020 presidential race.

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Candidate and former US representative Beto O'Rourke declared at a Democratic debate that he would confiscate such rifles.

Mr O'Rourke has made gun safety the centrepiece of his campaign since late August, when his hometown of El Paso, Texas, was the site of a racially motivated mass shooting that killed 22 people inside a Walmart store.

But the gun debate has long been divisive in US politics and many Republicans and the powerful gun lobby the National Rifle Association resist further restrictions on gun ownership.

Republican vice president Mike Pence has decried the gun-control stance and accused the Democrats as having a "radical agenda".


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