PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY, Md. — From July 21 to August 1, Prince George's County detectives have investigated 11 deadly shootings that left 11 people dead.
On Wednesday, July 21, detectives responded to a shooting at a condo in Adelphi, Maryland that left one man dead and four others injured. The victim, 21-year-old Juan Agudelo Maldonado of Lanham, was pronounced dead on the scene, and police said the four other victims were expected to survive. The preliminary investigation into this shooting revealed two suspects approached the victims who were gathered outside, moments later, the two suspects fired at the group. No arrests have been made, but detectives are offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.
A few days later, county homicide detectives were called to a pair of deadly shootings on July 24.
Around 1 p.m., patrol officers responded to the 13300 block of Laurel Bowie Road for a reported shooting, in the unincorporated portion of Laurel. When officers arrived on scene, they found a man, later identified as 33-year-old Antoine Lee Riley, suffering from a gunshot wound. Police said he was pronounced dead on the scene. Detectives in this case don't believe the shooting was random, but have not arrested any suspects in this case.
The second shooting of the day happened just before midnight, in Fort Washington. Officers responded to the 6800 block of Cherryfield Road and found 29-year-old Jether Bonds shot, police said. Again, police do not believe this shooting is random but detectives continue to investigate the circumstances. No arrests have been made in this case.
Just a few hours later, homicide detectives responded to a shooting in Suitland that left a 31-year-old man dead.
In this case, a witness to the shooting, which happened just after midnight in the 4500 block of Silver Hill Road, according to police, drove the victim to the hospital where he later died.
The next day, July 26, Prince George's County Police officers found 35-year-old Raymond Bailey III shot in his car in Landover, near the intersection of Camden Street and Columbia Avenue. Investigators are still working to find suspects and a motive in that shooting as well.
On Tuesday, July 27, homicide detectives were called to investigate the fatal shooting of 22-year-old Johnathan Legrant in Fort Washington.
Prince George's County officers were called to the 400 block of Bentwood Drive around 4 p.m., where they found Legrant shot several times. He died a short time later at the hospital, police said. Detectives are still working to find who's responsible.
Late Friday night, a triple shooting in Hyattsville left two women dead and a third critically hurt, police said. It happened in the 1900 block of Village Green Drive. Police identified the deceased victims as 65-year-old Hannah Woods and 24-year-old Nijah Johnson, both of Upper Marlboro; the third woman who suffered non-life-threatening injuries has not been identified.
Prince George's County Police said Monday that the preliminary investigation shows that the victims were shot in a drive-by shooting. No suspects have been arrested yet, and police do not know the motive for the crime.
Lisa Tyler lives in the neighborhood and heard the gunshots. She called the killings "shocking" and said the recent violence in Prince George's makes her worry about her own son "every day."
She's frustrated with the shootings and is asking those who might be tempted to pull the trigger to "have value for life."
A few hours later, around 2 a.m., officers responded to a shooting in the 1800 block of Ryderwood Court in Landover, Maryland, that left a 17-year-old teen boy and a 20-year-old woman dead, according to Prince George's County Police.
Police believe that both the woman and the teen boy died after shooting each other during a gun sale.
Around 3:30 a.m., on Saturday, July 31, officers were called to the 6700 block of 22nd Place in Hyattsville. Two people, a man and a woman, were found shot in a van. The woman was taken to the hospital with critical injuries, police said. The man was pronounced dead on the scene.
The shooting happened right outside the house Francis Santelis shares with his brother and their four young children.
"Our kids can be playing ... and one of those bullets can kill somebody," he said.
Genaro Argueta, who lives down the street from Santelis, shares those concerns.
"The majority of houses ... have children," he said. "And they come outside to play."
Argueta's house is one of them. He looks after his young grandson, Amir.
The grandfather hopes law enforcement increases its presence in the neighborhood to ward off future crime.
"What we need to do is have more police officers to patrol the area," he said.
On Sunday, August 1, a double shooting in the Temple Hills area in the 6600 block of Summerhill Road. The shooting left a juvenile dead and another young person in the hospital. Detectives are still investigating exactly what happened.
No arrests have been made in any of these cases. Police ask anyone who may have information on any of them to contact Prince George's County Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS.
Prince George's County has seen an uptick in violent crime, especially homicides, since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March of 2020.
This led officials to start a local task force to focus on the prosecution of crimes but also use targeted and community-focused tactics, according to the Prince George's County State's Attorney Aisha Braveboy.
The "Our Streets Our Future" initiative was put in place to find solutions to public safety issues. Law enforcement will do their part with help from members of the community to find solutions to the county's crime problem, Braveboy said.
Prince George’s County Police Chief Malik Aziz spoke Monday confidently about how the department's summer crime initiative is working. But he did stress that the department is working to replenish its officer count, which is down by the hundreds, according to his statements in the news conference.
“This is a Department of 1800 offices, and we're down a couple of 100 offices right now, we're in a battle to hire people and fortunately we have some people coming through the door. On any given month, we may have somewhere between 10 and 20 people who were separated from service due to retirements or resignation or otherwise,” said Aziz.
Aziz said he’s getting “nothing but support” from the county executive, the county council and community leaders, as the summer crime initiative moves forward.