Early Wednesday, a shooter opened fire at Southeast D.C.’s Potomac Avenue station, leaving one Metro mechanic dead, and three others hurt.
According to a news release, Isaiah Trotman, 31, of Southeast D.C., was detained by D.C. police in aboute shooting. Trotman is accused of first-degree murder while carrying a weapon, kidnapping while carrying a weapon, and a dangerous weapon assault (gun).
The suspect engaged people on a Metrobus while brandishing a gun, which led to a “series of individual actions,” according to D.C. police Executive Assistant Chief Ashan Benedict. According to detectives, the shooter shot one of the passengers in the leg after they got off the bus and before he entered the station.
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“He’s walking around, brandishing a firearm, and just randomly engaging people in conversation, h; he’setated about something,” Benedict said, addressing media on Wednesday morning.
The shooter approached the platform and a woman after shooting a second passenger in the leg at a fare machine. When Benedict saw this, he said that two Metro personnel tried to step in; one of them was shot and died.
According to a news statement issued by Metro on Wednesday afternoon, the victim was identified as 64-year-old mechanic Robert Cunningham who worked for the system’s power division.
Metro employee Robert Cunningham is being remembered as a hero this morning. He was shot and killed at the Potomac Avenue metro station. The gunman Isaiah Trotman, who went on this shooting rampage, is in custody and is now charged. @wmata @7NewsDC pic.twitter.com/nCQYQAsEqB
— John Gonzalez (@John7News) February 2, 2023
“On behalf of the Metro board, words cannot express how saddened we are to learn about the death of Mr. Cunningham,” Metro Board of Directors Chair Paul Smedberg said. “We understand that the employee acted incredibly bravely to help a customer. The shooter was threateningThe alleged gunman and then tried to board a train but was stopped by other passengers who assaulted him, leading to his arrest. Two victims of Wednesday’s incidents received treatment for leg wounds, and a third had a finger injury.
Joining Benedict and Mayor Muriel Bowser at a news briefing, Metro General Manager Randy Clarke called it a “brutal day” for the mass transit provider. He said he’d spoken to Cunningham’s colleagues on-site.
“To think that someone came in today, doing their job, then tried to intervene and protect another person that lives here and losloseseir life is real,” Clarke said. “I just hope thacan all reflect on that and give thanks to the people thawhork so hard for us in public service every day.”
Police were still looking for the cause of the series of events.
“We don’t know a lmuchout this shooter at this moment, other than we had a person with a gun who’s created yet another tragedy in our city,” Bowser told media. “We will work hand-in-hand with Metro to complete this investigation.”
After a police inquiry, the Potomac Avenue station reopened to commuters at about 4 o’clock.
One of Cunningham’s longtime neineighborsary, Whelan, told WTOP news partner NBC Washington that while she was shocked to learn of his passing, she was not shosurprised to know that he died while attempting to help others.
“I watch [Cunningham] leave and enter the building every day. He drives in with a truck every day. And to think that he departed today and never returned while working on behalf of another person. He was assisting others. He was not required to do it.
Neighbor Eleanor Adcock said Cunningham “looked out for his family an,d he looked out for the neighborhood … Looked out for strangers, too.”