People mourn the shooting's victims. Authorities think the attack was part of a cycle of retaliation spawned a week ago by suspicions of petty theft. (Sarah L. Voisin - Washington Post)

*A possible feud among neighborhood crews, three shootings and five fatalities have authorities in the nation’s capital trying to stop more paybacks in an area known for drugs and violence just 7 miles from the White House.

Tuesday night, a crowd sprayed with bullets in a drive-by shooting that killed four and wounded five had just returned from the funeral of man slain nearby. A 20-year-old man, who was wounded in a third shooting, is a suspect in the other two, authorities said Wednesday.

Police were trying to gather information to see if retaliation is planned and prevent it, said Assistant Police Chief Peter Newshan. He said neighborhood crews are more loosely associated than gangs.

Police Chief Cathy Lanier called the drive-by – the worst shooting in D.C. in at least 16 years – an egregious type of retaliation.

“It’s ridiculous and the community is tired of it,” she said. “There is no excuse for it.”

Two men and a 14-year-old boy accused of driving the minivan from which the bullets were fired were charged with first-degree murder. One of the suspects, Orlando Carter, also has been charged with second-degree murder in the March 22 shooting of Jordan Howe, whose funeral was earlier Tuesday.

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