Monday, December 03, 2018

Suspect in Custody Following Shooting During Attempted Robbery at Whole Foods

MPD released these stills from surveillance video

28 year old Michael Whatley Jr. of SE DC has been arrested in connection with yesterday's armed robbery and shooting at the Whole Foods (600 H St. NE). About 10:50am the suspect, dressed in a long coat and hooded sweatshirt, and wearing a mask to obscure his face, entered the grocery store, approached a cashier and demanded money while brandishing a gun. The cashier struggled with the gunman, and was shot. At this point the gunman fled the scene, apparently in a Zipcar. The cashier sustained serious, but non-life threatening, injuries and was rushed to the hospital. Whatley has been charged with Assault with Intent to Rob while Armed (Gun).

The robbery and shooting shocked employees, customers, and the larger neighborhood. The Washington Post appears to have the most detailed coverage, and it describes customers and employees rushing to clear the immediate scene of the shooting. Once the shot was fired employees began rushing customers back into food preparation areas to take cover. Some customers and employees fled out a rear door. A neighbor posted to Nextdoor a photo taken inside the store after police had arrived. The image shows the checkout lane adjacent to the shooting, which took place in lane 4. A toddler sized coat, a credit card, and a single small child's shoe can be seen in the image. It appears a parent grabbed the child and fled in search of safety. It was a scene that must have played out all over the store on what had seemed a quiet Sunday morning.

Further coverage:
Employee shot during robbery try in H Street NE Whole Foods; suspect arrested (Washington Post)
1 Shot in Attempted Robbery at H Street Whole Foods; Suspect Arrested (NBC4)
DC Police arrest Northeast Whole Foods shooting suspect (Fox 5/ WTTG)

 The Whole Foods prior to the store's opening in mid-March 2017


Anonymous said...

The DC government has a program you can apply for on the website for citizens to help prevent these events from occurring in the future. We can build a safe community together!!

Jon Markman said...

Dude. You cannot *possibly* think that armed customers would have made this go better than it did. The cashier was shot twice but is going to live, and no one else was harmed. The shooter was arrested without incident later on. That's basically the ideal for a shooting in a public place. How would more guns have helped this go better?

Speaking as a gunowner myself and a former CCL holder when I lived outside the district, this is the exact situation when an armed customer would almost definitely make things a whole lot worse.

Anonymous said...

These criminals are not dumb. They don't rob & shoot up the Whole Foods in Arlington because they know on that on the other side of the river they are much more likely to be encounter a legally armed citizen within any random group of people. Please educate yourself, a well armed citizenry deters criminals from behaving like this.

Just ask yourself, "Why do violent gun crimes rates drop as soon as you cross the river"?

Its because criminals prefer to commit crimes where their victims are unarmed, as such, Washington DC has distinguished itself as the leading safe space for criminals to commit gun crimes in the DMV metropolitan area. So now our Whole Foods is called the "Bullet Hole Foods". It didn't have to be this way.

More Guns = Less Crime

Anonymous said...

The above is completely absurd. Armed thieves don't attack the Whole Foods in Arlington because they don't live there. It has nothing to do with gun ownership.

Anonymous said...

This would not happen if we decriminalize shop lifting. Food is a right and we should not punish poor people who just want to feed their families.

Anonymous said...

It actually wouldn't have made a difference, and we know that because someone who was there had a conceal carry permit, was carrying, and (wisely) didn't draw.

The person actually concludes their post by saying "At the store with my family. Hear a shooting. Armed. Ran and hid with some other folks. Feel pretty good about not going Rambo."

So cool it, Rambo.