7 dead, 3 wounded in night of violence

? An overnight spasm of homicidal violence in the District of Columbia ended near dawn Saturday with seven men dead and three wounded, including a triple slaying after a street argument, a drive-by shooting near an elementary school, a deadly domestic dispute and a crap game that ended in a fusillade of bullets, police said.

All the killings, including the slaying of a man found with his throat cut in his car near his home, occurred within about a two-mile radius in sections of Northeast and Southeast Washington, in neighborhoods ranging from working-class to tumbledown, where families in neatly kept rowhouses live among street-corner loiterers and littered vacant lots.

“This can only be described as an unbelievably high level of violent crime to take place in a short time,” Democratic Mayor Adrian Fenty told reporters Saturday, standing where three victims were killed about 4 a.m. in a hail of 35 shots. “We’ve had some crime sprees, but this has got to be one of the most violent days in recent memory, if not ever.”