Girl, 17, Killed by Stray Bullet from Skirmish at a NW Club; Police Chief to Sign Order to Shutter Establishment

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Byline: Tarron Lively, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

A teenage girl was shot and killed inside a Northwest nightclub early yesterday after a man pulled a gun during a confrontation with club security guards.

Taleshia Ford, 17, was on the second floor of the Smarta/Broadway Club at 1919 9th St. NW at about 2:20 a.m. when a stray bullet struck her in the chest. She was taken to Howard University Hospital and pronounced dead a short time later, police said.

Police said the shooter escaped.

Cmdr. Larry D. McCoy, of the Metropolitan Police Department's 3rd District, said acting Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier is "very concerned" about the incident. He said the police chief plans to sign an order shutting down the club under a D.C. law that allows authorities to close clubs for up to 96 hours after a violent crime.

Oscar Wilson, the girl's father, said his daughter was at the club with a group of friends and family members, and that she was not involved in the skirmish, which unfolded after a woman accused of smoking marijuana was removed from the club.

"From what I was told by the other teens in the neighborhood, [Taleshia] was on the second floor of the club at the time," Mr. Wilson said.

D.C. Council member Jim Graham, Ward 1 Democrat, said he was told by clubgoers that the unidentified woman, after being thrown out of the club, went and got the man with the gun.

The man confronted security guards, pulled out the gun, and the scuffle broke out. …