An 18-year-old woman was fatally shot at a hotel in Friendship Heights, Washington, D.C. on New Year’s Day, marking the city’s first reported homicide of 2024. Paramedics were called to the Embassy Suites Hotel on Military Road NW shortly after midnight and found the victim in cardiac arrest. Ashalei Hinds of Clinton, Maryland, was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).
A law enforcement source revealed that around 10 people were attending a party in the room when the shooting occurred. Several hotel guests reported hearing two gunshots and screaming around 1:15 a.m. The room where the shooting took place had a shattered picture window, although it remained unclear whether it was caused by gunfire or something else.
The D.C. police are searching for a male suspect who fled the scene wearing black clothing and a ski mask. Additionally, as many as six people who were present in the room at the time are being sought by investigators. The Embassy Suites Hotel management has assured cooperation with law enforcement in the ongoing investigation.
The tragic incident took place at the conclusion of a year in which Washington, D.C. recorded 274 homicides, marking the highest number in more than two decades. Mayor Muriel Bowser has expressed her commitment to combat this trend with proposed new legislation, though it has yet to be passed.
The homicide of Ashalei Hinds at the Friendship Heights hotel is a tragic start to the new year for the city of Washington, D.C., as law enforcement and officials continue to address the rising number of homicides in the area.