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2 detained following attempted armed robbery, standoff with police near hospital

Suspects who reportedly tried to commit armed robbery barricaded themselves in a building near Howard Hospital which led to a standoff with police.

More than a dozen police vehicles surrounded the location of the reported standoff. (Photo courtesy of Andrew Leyden, @PenguinSix on X)

Reports of a barricaded person near the Howard Hospital on the 900 block of U Street North West around 9 a.m. this morning led to increased police presence around the area, according to the Metropolitan Police Department.

A Howard University Bison Safe advisory message was sent to students at that time to stay clear from Georgia Avenue and Florida Avenue, which are near campus.

The two suspects reportedly ran inside a building in the 2000 Block of Georgia Ave and were later found by MPD’s emergency response team to be barricaded in the 900 block of U Street, NW, which is near Insomnia Cookies. 

On X MPD said that before the standoff at approximately 8:06 a.m., an officer was alerted of a potential armed robbery in the area of 8th Street & Florida Avenue, NW, which turned out to be the two suspects. 

At 10:28 a.m., MPD said the suspects were detained and detectives had begun investigating the incident. There were no reported injuries, they said.

In a statement emailed to The Hilltop, Howard’s office of communications said that the building that the two suspects forcibly entered is owned by Howard University. The building was previously used for research projects and has been unoccupied over the last seven years and was equipped with locks, chains and barriers.

“The university continuously monitors this and any unoccupied buildings and has numerous protection measures in place to safeguard against attempts to breach these properties,” the statement said, citing regular visits by DPS and a recent development of a task force to address securing university properties.

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A woman appears to be handcuffed and walked by police officers. (Photo Courtesy of Andrew Leyden, @PenguinSix on X)

In December, an unlawful break-in also occurred at Benjamin E. Mays Hall, which housed the School of Divinity from 1987 to 2015.

“Vacant properties are often targets for intruders who are seeking to gain access to these properties,” the statement continued. “We will continue to work diligently to develop and implement plans that keep our campus a safe and nurturing environment for our Howard University community.” 

Monica Lewis, Howard’s assistant vice president of strategic communications, initially said that the situation was purely handled by MPD, but later clarified with The Hilltop that the Howard University Department of Public Safety (DPS) was involved with coordinating the police response. Lewis said she is not aware of DPS plans to increase police presence on campus today.

“As always, we are pleased with the response of MPD and the level of communication that they provided to us to keep us informed of this matter as it evolved,” Lewis said.

According to MPD, the situation led to the closure of eight different blocks across the North West area, including the 2000 block of Georgia Avenue NW, near the Howard Theater, and  700-800 blocks of Florida Avenue, NW, between 7th and 9th Streets, near the African American Civil War Museum. Drivers in the area were recommended to take alternate routes. 

At 10:40 a.m., the campus advisory was deactivated according to the Bison Safe alert sent to community members, and an “ALL CLEAR” message was sent.

This is an ongoing story and will be updated as more information becomes available. 

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Copy edited by Alana Matthew

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