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Prince George's records eighth slaying in eight days

By Martin Weil
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, January 8, 2011; 7:32 PM

A man was found slain Saturday in a parking lot in the Langley Park area of Prince George's County in the county's eighth homicide in the first eight days of the new year.

The man was found a few minutes after 8 a.m. at an apartment complex in the 1400 block of University Boulevard East after police were called there for a report of a "cutting," police said.

Officers found the man with one or more wounds and took him to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. As of Saturday evening, the man had not been named and there was no information about the circumstances of his death.

The apartment complex includes three-story red brick buildings on a stretch of University between Riggs Road and New Hampshire Avenue. A commercial area is across the street.

The string of homicides has drawn attention for the sheer number of killings involved, and for the way they coincided with the start of the year. The first of the killings, in Chillum, came on New Year's Day.

The last before Saturday's was a fatal shooting Thursday in the Seat Pleasant area.

A teenager was arrested and charged with murder and robbery in that incident. Police said it stemmed from a dispute between the suspect and victim.

Police have said that a brief surge in homicides is not unprecedented. In one 2007 weekend, six were reported, a police official said.

Police have also said that the earlier January killings did not appear to be random. That indicated a belief that the victims in those attacks may have known their assailants and been targeted.

So far the killings have occurred at a rate more than three times as great as last year or the year before, when the average was about two per week.

Last week, County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D) said he did not think that the sudden spike "portends a violent year."

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