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'Devastating loss of a bright, vibrant student' | Girl shot, killed while walking after school in Lanham

The shooting happened near Palamar Drive and Woodstream Drive shortly before 4 p.m.

LANHAM, Md. — A student at DuVal High School was shot to death near two schools in Lanham on Monday afternoon.

According to the Prince George's County Police Department, the shooting happened near Palamar Drive and Woodstream Drive shortly before 4 p.m. 

Very few details are available regarding the shooting at this time, however, police have confirmed that a girl died after being shot.

In a press conference Monday evening, police say the girl was walking along Palamar Drive shortly after school let out when two groups of people got into a fight. During the argument, a suspect took out a gun and fired, hitting the girl and killing her.

Police sources tell WUSA9 they do not believe the girl was the intended target. 

"We are determined to find the suspect who callously, in broad daylight, killed one of our teenagers in our community," said Acting Deputy Chief Zachary O’Lare with Prince George's County Police. 

The girl was identified Tuesday as Jayda Medrano-Moore, 16, of Greenbelt. According to a GoFundMe started by her family, Jayda was less than two weeks away from turning 17.

While classes had ended for the day, students who attend after-school activities at DuVal High School and Robert Goddard Middle School were under lockdown while police investigated. That lockdown was later lifted.

Students who spoke with WUSA9 said while they did not know the victim well, they felt close to her because of how well-known and well-liked she was at school. 

DuVal High School released a statement Monday evening sending condolences to Medrano-Moore's family and informing the community that mental health professionals will be available to students and staff Tuesday. 

"It is with heavy hearts that we mourn the tragic loss of a DuVal High School student. Grief counselors and mental health professionals will be on campus tomorrow to support students and staff as they cope with this loss. Prince George’s County Public Schools extends our thoughts and deepest condolences to the student's family and friends during this incredibly difficult time."

Prince George's County Public Schools Superintendent Millard House described the crime as a "devastating loss of a bright, vibrant student."

"Her potential, quite frankly, boundless. Her dreams and aspirations, talent promising," House said. "She was a dedicated student and beloved daughter, cherished friend and a source of inspiration for many."

Starting this school year, Prince George's County Public Schools began rolling out new security measures - including weapon detection technology. But, the district has not yet installed that technology at DuVal.

While police have not yet said if their suspect is a student, House said DuVal will now get the security technology sooner. 

Police have not released any information regarding a motive or suspect description.

Anyone with information may contact detectives through PG Crime Solvers by calling 1-866-411-TIPS (8477). Calls are answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

The national nonprofit The Uvalde Foundation for Kids is also joining in the effort for added security around DuVal.

They're actively recruiting community members to join the STOP NOW Volunteer School Patrols, which will monitor the area around the school.

The group formed in response to the Uvalde, Texas school shooting and has been rolling out these school patrols across the country — near schools that have experienced violence.

Some examples include at the Covenant School in Nashville, Tenn. and Richneck Elementary School in Virginia.

The foundation said it is modeled after the Guardian Angels community policing unit in NYC In the 1980s.

The goal of the STOP NOW teams is to patrol school perimeters, offer positive student and community engagement, and serve as an additional deterrent to dangers. 

They said team members are not armed, receive criminal background and drug clearance, are trained in situational awareness, CPR and basic intervention techniques.


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