By Matt Zapotosky
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, January 6, 2011; 8:25 PM
A man fatally shot Thursday afternoon in the Seat Pleasant area became Prince George's County's seventh homicide victim since 2011 began.
In the latest case, police were called to the 900 block of Central Hills Lane on a report of shots being fired and a man wounded in a car. He was pronounced dead at the scene, in a community of duplexes near Oakcrest Elementary School.
Police issued a lookout for a black male with long dreadlocks and a blue jacket running from the area, and within 10 minutes, a Seat Pleasant police officer picked up a man at Hill Road and Hill Oaks Road.
Police found a semiautomatic handgun on the suspect, and homicide detectives took him in for questioning, said Maj. Andrew Ellis, the Prince George's County police department's public affairs commander. He had not been charged Thursday.
Ellis highlighted the incident as a "textbook example of how the police and the community can work together to solve crimes."
But it is another killing in a county that has seen a rash of them this year.
Ellis said that killing, like the six before it, "does not appear to be random," meaning that the victims were targeted. Investigators still were exploring a motive Thursday, but Ellis said the latest slaying did not appear to be connected to any of the others.
Ellis identified the victim as a 26-year-old man who lived in the District. He said the body was discovered in the passenger side of a Pontiac Bonneville, which did not belong to anyone in the neighborhood.
There were indications of a drug connection in several of the previous slayings, including Wednesday night's violence in the 1300 block of Southview Drive in the Forest Heights area, Ellis said. The victim, 30-year-old Terrance Calvin Hunter, had been arrested previously on drug charges, Ellis said, and lived in Fort Washington, not the mid-rise apartment building where his body was found in a back stairwell.
No one returned a written message left at Hunter's home Thursday. Ellis said the case is not believed to be connected to any of the previous five killings. Police have not made arrests in those cases.
Ellis said the recent spasm of violence is "not an indication that things are out of control." He said that during one weekend in March 2007, there were six homicides.
Still, the spate of violence has become the talk of Prince George's, and some residents said they are growing fearful that it will continue.
"Today is what? The sixth day of the month? And you have seven killings?" said Florence Dyson, 66, who lives down the street from the latest slaying near Seat Pleasant. "What you gonna have tonight? 10? 12?"
Also on Thursday, Ellis officially identified the two men slain during what are believed to be connected, drug-related incidents Tuesday in the Oxon Hill area. Mark A. Davis Jr., 28, of District Heights was found slain in the basement of a townhouse in the 7200 block of Crafford Place, and Larry Junior Watkins, 38, of Oxon Hill was found slain at the nearby intersection of Palmer and Tucker roads.
Ellis said that Watkins lived at the Crafford Place address and that he was a friend of Davis's. Authorities have said the incident was drug related, and investigators seized a large quantity of marijuana from the home. Sources have said the men's mouths were duct taped. Watkins was shot, and Davis's throat was slashed, authorities and sources have said.