A Washington, D.C. man accused of shooting an ex-girlfriend before being shot by police Wednesday at an office in Crystal City is a convicted murderer who had been ordered by a judge to stay away from the victim.
Mumeet Muhammad was also free awaiting trial on a charge of threatening to shoot a man, according to WTOP, when he forced his way into the National Waste and Recycling Association office on Crystal Drive.
An association employee described the scene to InsideNoVa on Thursday, saying recent active-shooter training helped employees get through the terrifying episode.
“Everybody did precisely what they should have done,” said the employee, who asked that his name not be published.
After the gunman forced his way in, workers were told to go to their offices and shelter in place. The witness said he didn’t make it back to his own office, but the one next to his, which has windows facing into the office space.
“I got right up next to door, crouched down and made myself as small as possible,” he said. “I heard screaming, him yelling at her, her pleading with him.”
Police arrived within minutes, he said, and confronted the suspect. More yelling followed. “Then bang, bang, bang,” he said.
The witness said he made mental notes of everything he saw and heard for the police, but not before letting his family know what was happening.
“First thing, I texted my family, I said ‘I love you guys, this is the situation.’”
The victim and gunman both suffered gunshot wounds, but both are expected to survive. The woman was in good condition Thursday and was expected to be released from the hospital this week.
Police have obtained warrants charging Muhammad with aggravated malicious wounding, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and use of a firearm in a felony.
Muhammad had been arrested in D.C. last week after being found in possession of a gun, and was out on bond for threatening to shoot a man, also in D.C., last month, WTOP reported.
He is a convicted killer who served 25 years in prison for the 1992 murder of a man in Arlington, the radio station said.
Muhammad had been ordered to stay away from the victim in Wednesday’s shooting by a judge, according to D.C. Superior Court records. The original protective order was reissued Aug. 9 because the victim still feared for her life, records show.
Muhammad remained hospitalized Thursday, with the Arlington warrants pending.
The office where the shooting occurred is closed "for the foreseeable future so that the police can complete their investigation and a damage assessment can be conducted," the association said in a news release.
The witness said police did a great job handling the situation. He said he found himself calm during the incident.
“I wasn’t feeling fear or anything,” he said. “It was almost a religious feeling, like a protection. I think that enabled me to remain so logical.”