Body count grows as seventh Prince George's homicide reported in 6 days
Seat Pleasant, Oxon Hill slayings latest in gory week
Two more people are dead after separate shootings Thursday morning and Wednesday night, the latest in a spate of violence throughout Prince George's County.
The killings bring the total this year to seven, including two that police have confirmed were related.
In the most recent homicide, reported at 11:45 a.m. Thursday in the 900 block of Central Hills Lane in Seat Pleasant, a man was found shot and died on the scene. His name has not been released.
Police said they have a man in custody for the shooting and found a weapon near the scene of the shooting. Sgt. Michelle Reedy said the suspect had tried to flee the scene but was located by officers nearby.
This is the only homicide of the seven this week in which police have a suspect in custody. No determination has been made as to whether the latest slaying is related to any of the recent others, Reedy said.
A man also was found shot dead Wednesday night in the hallway of an Oxon Hill apartment complex.
A resident of the complex in the 1300 block of Southview Drive called police at approximately 9 p.m. to report that a man was bleeding in the hallway, said Cpl. Clinton Copeland, a spokesman for the Prince George's County Police Department.
When police arrived, they found Terrance Calvin Hunter, 30, of the 13000 block of Rhame Drive in Fort Washington in a stairwell of the complex with trauma to his body. He was pronounced dead on the scene.
Less than 24 hours before the most recent killings, the county's interim police chief, Mark A. Magaw, said most of the homicides that occurred earlier in the week appeared to be drug-related.
"We've seen homicide spikes in the past. This is not something new," Magaw said. "It's not an indicator of trend of increasing homicide or increasing crime. This spike will be closed, and this cycle will be broken by this police department."
The Seat Pleasant and Oxon Hill killings follow a quadruple shooting Tuesday in Temple Hills that left one man dead, as well as three fatal shootings early Tuesday morning one in Suitland and two in Fort Washington as well as a fatal stabbing Saturday in Chillum.
Magaw said the two Fort Washington shootings appear to be connected.
"These homicides don't appear to be random acts. In almost every case, the victims likely were targeted," he said.
In the Temple Hills quadruple-shooting Tuesday night, four men were found shot in the 4000 block of Norcross Street, said Maj. Andy Ellis, the Prince George's County Police Department's chief spokesman.
One of the men shot, Michael DeAngelo Layne, 19, of the 3900 block of Triton Court in Temple Hills, was pronounced dead on the scene after an apparent armed robbery attempt.
One of the men shot, a 21-year-old, was transported to an area hospital and is listed in critical condition. The other two, ages 21 and 18, were hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.
Magaw said the shooting may be drug-related.
"There's potentially a drug nexus based on records from some of the individuals that were on the scene at the time," the chief said.
A resident of the 4000 block who did not want to be identified said he saw four people running down the street after he heard gunshots Tuesday night. He said teenagers and young men and women frequently hang out on the corner where the shootings occurred, sometimes as many as 20 at one time.
In the mornings there are usually empty alcohol containers and trash, the neighbor said.
"It's sad that it happened that way, but it was a precursor," the neighbor said. "There's so many kids up there, unfortunately, it was bound to happen."
The neighbor said he hopes his community can move on from the violent episode.
"Hopefully we can come together as a neighborhood now. That's my hope we become stronger as a neighborhood," he said.
Early Tuesday morning, Laurel resident Clifton Antion Turner, 42, of the 3400 block of Fort Meade Road was found shot dead outside the Upscale Ballroom in the 3900 block of Bexley Place in Suitland, about three miles from the later Temple Hills shootings. Ellis said Wednesday the killing may have been drug-related.
Cpl. Henry Tippett, a police department spokesman, said police think Turner was an Upscale customer who was shot when he went out to his car. It's not clear whether the shooter, who reportedly fled into the woods, was an Upscale customer, Tippett said. The department's homicide unit is investigating.
Victor Jones, a 59-year-old who works at the ballroom, said the venue was hosting an Orange Bowl viewing party and had two R&B bands playing for "at least a couple hundred" patrons ages 25 and older.
Jones said he did not witness the shooting.
"I was in the back room entertaining some friends, and think I kind of dozed off, and someone woke me up and told me they had a shooting outside," Jones said.
No phone number was listed for Turner.
Two men also were found dead in Fort Washington within hours Tuesday morning in related killings.
Mark Andrew Davis Jr., 28, of the 1700 block of Addison Road South in District Heights was found dead inside a home in the 7200 block of Crafford Place with trauma to his body.
Magaw said police found a significant amount of marijuana in the home, but he did not provide details of drugs found at the other slaying locations.
While police were investigating the homicide, a resident driving in the 2200 block of Palmer Road saw a body on the side of the roadway and called police.
The man was identified as Larry Junior Watkins, 38, who lived at the home on Crafford Place, and was pronounced dead, also with trauma to his body.
The first killing in Prince George's this year was a stabbing in Chillum on New Year's Day. Police were called to an apartment on the 5700 block of Cypress Creek Drive around 10:24 a.m. Saturday where they found Ansel Donovan Whitelocke, 58, suffering from trauma to his upper body, Copeland said. He was pronounced dead on the scene.
There were 97 homicides in the county in 2010, down from 99 in 2009. There was one homicide at this time in 2010, on Jan. 5.
Anyone with information about these cases is asked to call the Prince George's County Police Department's Homicide Unit at 301-772-4925.
Staff Writer Alison E. Walker contributed to this report.