WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — A Texas congressman who was carjacked at gunpoint just a mile from the Capitol Monday night talked about the incident on Tuesday.
“You got to keep calm under those situations, and analyze the situation quickly and look around, one gun, a second gun, maybe a third one behind me. You got to stay calm. They wanted the car, sure. They recovered everything,” said Congressman Henry Cuellar. “What really got me, though, was they took my sushi, but anyway, that’s something else. And they did recover the sushi after all.”
Police said the carjacking happened at about 9:30 p.m., near the corner of New Jersey Avenue and K Street SE in Navy Yard.
Cuellar was parking his car when three people approached him and stole his car. Hochberg was not hurt. Officers recovered the congressman’s car in the 2000 block of 14th St. SE, in addition to the stolen sushi about which he joked Tuesday.
Some people who live in Navy Yard said they were not surprised it happened.
“I’m not really surprised that there seems to be a lot of crime that’s been going on around here,” said Theresa Firestone. “I’ve heard gunfire in the neighborhood before. A lot of it seems to be early morning or in the evening, like after dark. I usually actually don’t even go out at that time.”
Other neighbors said it was scary to learn about the carjacking.
“That is extremely terrifying, I live really close to here,” said Kasey Fields.
Fields said she tries to stay vigilant, especially when she’s driving through the neighborhood alone.
“I feel more safe on foot than I do driving through the neighborhood,” she said.
People working in the neighborhood said that what happened to Cuellar could happen to anyone.
“[If] this happened to a member of Congress… Maybe there are no rules left,” said Donavan Wilson.
Carjackings and motor vehicle thefts in D.C. are up 106% over last year, with more than 5,000 reported in 2023.
U.S. Capitol Police (USCP), which took over the investigation, said it had a number of leads. USCP said it was working with the Metropolitan Police Department.
This is the second attack on a member of Congress in the District this year. In February, someone assaulted Rep. Angie Craig in an elevator.
There was no indication that Craig or Cuellar were targeted because of their positions.