Man shot near Pr. George’s playground

Prince George's County police said a man was shot and killed Thursday afternoon near a playground near the Hillcrest Heights area.

The shooting. in the 4700 block of 23rd Parkway, was reported at about 3:30 p.m., said Cpl. Larry Johnson, a Prince George's police spokesman.The man was taken to the hospital and later died, police said.

Police cordoned off the small playground, situated in a low-rise, garden style apartment complex, with yellow crime scene tape. Investigators scattered at least a dozen evidence markers about the scene, including one to mark what a witness said was the victim’s shirt.

Juan Taylor, 17, who lives nearby, said he heard three or four gunshots, then looked out his back window to see young children scattering from the playground. He said he then noticed a man who appeared to be running toward the playground stumble and fall.

“It looked like he was trying to get away,” Taylor said. “He dropped to the floor.”

Taylor said friends of the man, who appeared to be in his early 20s, tried to help him.

One witness, who declined to be identified, said she heard what sounded like three gunshots “and then, chaos.” People were yelling at one another, she said, and a man who looked to be in his late teens or early twenties was lying face down just several yards from the playground.

“You couldn’t tell where he was shot because there was so much blood all over the place,” the woman said.

A motive for the shooting remains unclear. Police said they were working to identify a suspect.

This post has been updated.

Matt Zapotosky covers the federal district courthouse in Alexandria, where he tries to break news from a windowless office in which he is not allowed to bring his cell phone.

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