WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — The DC News Now team is excited to announce a partnership with Larry Calhoun, the man behind the DC Realtime News Twitter account. As part of the partnership, Calhoun will continue his work in the community and will provide exclusive content to DC News Now from breaking news scenes.

Calhoun started the DC Realtime News Twitter feed in May of 2020 and has gained almost 50 thousand followers in less than two years. He first created the feed out of inspiration from other citizen journalists like Alan Henney but said he gained the ultimate motivation after he himself became a victim of gun violence.

The shooting happened in mid-July 2020.

Calhoun said, “It was a normal morning for me. Going to work and coming through this road fare, and a single shot rang out. I get about right here, and I realize I’m hit.”

A .223 rifle round went through the door of his car and hit him in the arm, shattering his elbow.

“The arm will never be 100 percent,” he said. “I have plates and screws in the elbow to keep it intact. It’s about as strong as I think it will get.”

While recovering from the shooting, Calhoun focused on his Twitter feed. He said getting shot on a road that he drives nearly every day motivated him to keep his community informed and motivate people to take action against violence rather than be numb to it.

He explained, “You become immune to it, unfortunately. A lot of people are to this day. So, when you get older and you get shot, it’s like, this isn’t normal. An innocent person gets up to go to work and gets shot, there’s something wrong with that picture.”

As someone who grew up in Northeast DC, Calhoun said he himself felt immune to the violence until it happened to him.

As a victim of gun violence, he said, “I can report from a different perspective than most reporters, and I think that’s why the community got behind it.”

“This work is very important public safety. I never looked at it like I do now until I was shot because until something happens to you, you start caring differently,” he said.

On top of his full-time job, Calhoun made it his mission to report on every major incident, and hopefully fuel change.

He said, “We’re gonna have car collisions, we’re going to have house fires. They come with the territory of living. But the shootings is something we can control and that’s getting people to just change their behavior.”

In two years, Calhoun practiced, took criticism and consistently dropped accurate reports. The hard work lead to his feed being one of the most trusted, most looked to for breaking public safety news in the region, and he does all of this on top of his full-time day job

“When I started the feed, I didn’t know it would turn into what it is now,” he said. “I come home from work. I get locked in normally about 9 p.m., I go til about 2 a.m. on an average night. I get all the jurisdictions up and use a software called Open Megahertz.”

When news breaks, Calhoun is on it and his followers know as soon as possible.

He said, “It’s about listening, an incident comes out, writing down as much pertinent information as possible, being patient.”

Over time, Calhoun taught himself how to listen to three or four police and emergency medical service scanners at once.

“For me, it is about keeping the community safe. Just doing my part,” he said. He’s able to stand out from other citizen journalists by not only being consistent with fast, accurate news reports but also by going to scenes, taking video and even posting himself reporting.

Even with his large following and contribution to multiple local stations in the region, Calhoun did not think of himself as a journalist until a local reporter in the field recognized him as a colleague.

“Just her saying that, that really sparked something in me and I said, okay I have to start looking at this different, because people who are doing this every day are looking at me different,” he explained. “Sometimes you’re just casual, lolly golly with yourself, but other people see something else in you. That really opened my eyes that I was onto something, and it really checked me to make sure I was being accurate and things like that.”

Everything Calhoun does with the feed: working to take it to the next level, making it a priority to go to the scene, working to report on every major incident– he said it is all motivated by his love for his community.

“Everybody’s not built to be a police. Everybody’s not built to be a firefighter or politician. You know, public office,” he said. “I found a lane, something I can do to contribute to my community, and I have grown to be good at it.”

You can find Calhoun on twitter @RealtimeNews10.