A Democratic candidate for Washington D.C. City Council was carjacked at gunpoint in broad daylight at a gas station in the capital city on Saturday, security video shows.
The DC Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) released the footage of the incident on Tuesday, showing four masked suspects were behind the brazen carjacking, including one individual who pointed his gun directly at city council candidate Nate Fleming and demanded his car keys.
Fleming said he threw the car keys in the air toward the gunmen and then ran to the store to get help, but he was ordered to leave, which Fleming said was “the scariest part.”
“Just got carjacked at gunpoint at the gas station on the corner of Minnesota Ave and Nannie Hellen Burroughs,” Fleming tweeted after the incident. “I am okay, but they got my car. Sadly, I had a feeling this would happen to me and that’s why public safety has always been a top priority in my campaign for DC Council.”
In a statement posted on Twitter, Fleming acknowledged that the carjacking “comes as crime rates in DC have skyrocketed over the last year.”
“I’m shocked, angry and a bit embarrassed,” Fleming said. “To be threatened at gunpoint is shocking, but I am not surprised to have been attacked given the crisis we are facing with carjackings and violence in general in our city. Increasing public safety is at the heart of why I’m running for a citywide Council seat.”
“These carjackings are evidence that the perpetrators of violent crimes are getting younger and younger,” he added. “We must attack public safety as a short term issue, but we must recognize that violence is a symptom of long term issues like educational inequality, lack of economic opportunity, and the lack of mental health care resources in our communities.”
Fleming also said “relationship-based policing” was key to fighting rampant crime in the capital city.
“We must also commit ourselves to ensuring that there is stronger relationship-based policing in our communities,” he said. “The police responded to this incident quickly and professionally, but we must put our force in position to be more preventive of these types of crimes through stronger, community-based policing.”
Last month, Illinois state Sen. Kimberly Lightford and her husband Eric McKennie were out in the Village of Broadview, a Chicago suburb, when three people wearing masks stole the couple’s Mercedes-Benz SUV after holding them at gunpoint and exchanging fire with the couple.
“Luckily enough my husband is concealed and carry and he was able to protect us,” Lightford told ABC 7.