Afternoon shots fired outside GSFS

by Tom Beck and Carla Robinson
Posted 9/21/23

Police confirmed to the Local that five bullet casings were recovered from a shooting that occurred on the 5500 block of Germantown Avenue on Monday.

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Afternoon shots fired outside GSFS


Police confirmed to the Local Tuesday morning that five bullet casings were recovered from a shooting that occurred on the 5500 block of Germantown Avenue near the intersection with Armat Street, just steps away from the Greene Street Friends School, at approximately 4:28 p.m. on Monday.

The shots appear to have been fired from a passing car, according to witnesses. No one is reported to have been hurt and no arrests have been made, police said. The department’s Northwest Detectives Division is investigating this incident.

Police said security footage from Grill 'N' Dutchy, a Jamaican restaurant located on the same block, captured part of the shooting.

A man who works for Germantown Friends School, which is located just two blocks away, said he happened to be ordering food inside that restaurant when the shooting happened. The man, who did not want to provide his name, said there were no kids or students nearby, but the situation was scary nonetheless. 

“Anytime bullets fly,” he said. “You feel something.”

When he looked outside the restaurant, he said he didn’t see anything. The shots, he added, must have come from a car. 

“There was nobody around,” he said. “Eventually, the cops rolled through.”

Students from both Greene Street Friends and Germantown Friends School often wait for the 23 bus along that section of Germantown Avenue at that time of day. 

It’s the second time shots have been fired on that section of Germantown Avenue this year. In May, an 11 p.m. shooting on the Route 23 bus as it was passing the 5200 block killed 15-year-old Randy Mills of Mt. Airy. According to police, that shooting was the result of an altercation that broke out between two passengers. 

Michelle Holland, GSFS Head of School, told the Local that "Greene Street Friends School responded to police activity in the neighborhood and activated our safety plan, which includes notifying families immediately, yesterday afternoon,” she said. “All students and adults on campus were safely diverted indoors. GSFS is a Quaker School firmly rooted in Germantown that believes in – and teaches the – testimony of Peace."

When the Local arrived at Germantown Friends School Tuesday morning, the school’s Chief Advancement Officer, Hannah Caldwell Henderson, told the Local that she was aware of police activity the previous day, but unaware that a shooting had occurred.

Germantown Friends sent a notice just after 5 p.m. to parents yesterday to tell them there had been some law enforcement activity in the area of Germantown Avenue and Armat Street but did not say that shots had been fired. 

“We have been in communication with the 14th Police District and they assured us that there is no threat to GFS at this time,” the note said.