Message from President Ronald Mason Jr. in response to yesterday’s shooting in the 2900 block of Van Ness Street, NW

Message from President Ronald Mason Jr. in response to yesterday’s shooting in the 2900 block of Van Ness Street, NW

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April 23, 2022

Dear University of District of Columbia students, faculty, staff and community members,

As many of you know, our community has experienced a horrific act of violence. Yesterday, there was an active shooter near the UDC Ness campus, which resulted in the campus being locked down until approximately 9:13 p.m. The police are still investigating, but here’s what we understand. A lone gunman fired from an apartment window, apparently shooting random people. The victims were transported to a local hospital and are in stable condition. Our thoughts are with them and their families, and we wish them a speedy recovery.

Authorities have now deemed that the area around the UDC Van Ness campus is safe, and there is no further threat. All areas of the campus are accessible to our community.

It was a tragic and senseless act that should not have occurred. While we may never understand the motives of the shooter, we stand in solidarity with the Edmund Burke School, the Howard University School of Law and our neighboring businesses and residents as we begin the healing process. We are grateful to the Office of the Mayor, local and national law enforcement, and our Office of Public Safety and Emergency Management, led by Acting Chief of Police Orlando Treadwell and our campus police officers. They worked swiftly, tirelessly and diligently to keep us safe. I also thank the entire Firebird community for following directives to shelter in place, supporting one another and staying safe for hours.

We had several students residing in the nearby apartments, and we are pleased that they are all safe. The Office of Student Development & Success was in contact with them during the ordeal and continues to provide support and assistance to these students.

Yesterday’s incident was shocking and weighs heavily on our sense of safety. For many, the incident itself and the substantial police presence were traumatizing. Social and emotional support—including counseling services—are available as we focus on our healing and wellbeing.

The University has several counseling resources available through the Counseling and Wellness Center. Students can call 202.274.6000 to make an appointment. Employees can contact the Inova Employee Assistance Program (EAP) at 800.346.0110. Certified clinicians can also help you 24/7 through the D.C. Department of Behavioral Health’s mental health hotline at 888.793.4357.

I remind everyone to take a moment to review our emergency procedures and to download the LiveSafe app to ensure you always have the latest, real-time alerts on your mobile device.

We will always do our best to provide students and employees a safe environment to learn and work, and we remain a safe campus in the DMV.


President Ronald Mason Jr.