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3 DC officers were wounded in a shooting while making an animal cruelty arrest. Suspect is in custody after hourslong standoff

By Christina Maxouris, Eric Levenson and Holmes Lybrand, CNN

(CNN) — A suspect accused of shooting three officers with the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, DC, while they were attempting to serve an arrest warrant for animal cruelty surrendered after an hourslong standoff, police said.

The suspect, 46-year-old Julius James, was arrested and charged with cruelty to animals, the police department said in a Wednesday night news release. Additional charges in connection to the officers’ shooting are pending, police said. CNN could not immediately find information for an attorney for James.

The incident began when officers with the criminal apprehension unit and the Humane Rescue Alliance responded to a home in the 5000 block of Hanna Place SE, in the southeast part of the city, to serve an arrest warrant for animal cruelty at about 7:30 a.m. ET, Police Chief Pamela A. Smith said in a news conference earlier Wednesday.

While police were outside the home’s door, the suspect fired multiple shots through the door, hitting the three officers, police said in their news release.

The officers were taken to the hospital with non life-threatening injuries, the police chief said. said. They were not facing any “serious, critical injuries” and were doing well, Smith said in a news conference Wednesday evening, updating reporters on the standoff.

A fourth officer was also injured but their injuries were not gunshot-related, police said. All four officers were stable and are expected to recover, according to the news release.

The suspect fired “a shot here and there” throughout the day as he remained barricaded in the home, Smith said.

Police spent hours negotiating with him and at times the suspect would become agitated while at other times he was “very positive,” Smith said. He surrendered Wednesday night.

During the standoff, some residents in the immediate area were evacuated from their homes, Smith said. She would not share details on how many people were relocated and where they were taken.

Police also blocked off several neighboring streets and warned the public to stay “far away from the scene.”

There were nearly a dozen pit bulls inside the home, according to a source.

The Humane Rescue Alliance, an animal services provider, issued a statement confirming their presence at the scene earlier Wednesday.

“As this dynamic situation unfolds, our thoughts are with our partners at MPD who are being treated in the hospital and we are wishing them all the best in their recovery. We could not fulfill our mission without them,” the group said.

The shooting comes as Washington, DC, has seen a sharp rise in violent crime over the past year, even as many other US cities experienced a decline. From 2022 to 2023, DC saw a 35% increase in homicides, a 67% increase in robberies and an 82% increase in motor vehicle thefts, according to police data.

“I won’t say DC crime is out of control,” Smith said in her news conference earlier Wednesday. “I think we have a group of individuals who do not respect law enforcement and authority. Our officers, again, were where they were supposed to be, doing exactly what they need to do, and we will continue to do that.”

This story has been updated with additional information.

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CNN’s Andrea Cambron, Gabe Cohen and Jalen Beckford contributed to this report.

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