A 15-year-old Oxon Hill youth was shot and killed early yesterday and another was seriously wounded in what police and a witness described as a feud between rival groups of young men over a teen-age girl.
Prince George's County police said Bernard Avery Redman of 8390 Indian Head Hwy. was shot about 1 a.m. in the courtyard outside his family's apartment.
About two hours earlier, Redman and other youths at the Indian Head Manor Apartments allegedly argued with a young man who came to the complex to pick up a date. The shooting occurred when the man and his date returned, accompanied by several other youths, police said.
One resident of the complex said the shooting was the latest episode in a longstanding feud over the attentions of some teen-aged girls who live there. At a party in the area last month, a fistfight erupted among the feuding youths, and at least one gun was brandished, the resident said. "It was a macho, power thing," he said.
The resident, an adult who said he witnessed yesterday's shooting, said about a dozen youths marched through the courtyard about 12:45 a.m., past a slide and swing set, carrying baseball bats and at least one shotgun and handgun. The witness, who asked not to be identified, said the youths approached Redman and others who were sitting on a bench. After a brief confrontation, Redman and his friends began to run. Shots rang out.
Two or three shots were fired, according to police.
Redman was shot in the back, made his way to an open doorway and collapsed, police said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
A second youth, whose name is being withheld, was shot in the buttocks and the bullet lodged in his lower abdomen. The 17-year-old was reported in satisfactory condition yesterday at Southern Maryland Hospital.
Late yesterday, police said they were looking for the driver of a silver BMW 325i with District license plates in connection with the shooting.
Yesterday's slaying is the latest in a series of area shootings involving teen-agers. In June, a Fairmont Heights High School student was shot in the stomach after trying to break up a scuffle over a pair of $95 designer sunglasses. A 16-year-old was charged in the case. Days before, a 14-year-old girl was shot in the stomach after youths fired a handgun into a crowd of students at a District elementary school.
"As weapons are more accessible to these kids, you get more acts of violence," said Prince George's police spokesman Bruce Gentile. "The proliferation of weapons on the streets is unbelievable."
Prince George's school officials said Redman graduated from Oxon Hill Middle School in June, and they described him as a well-liked student who had no discipline problems. "He was just an average kid," said spokeswoman Bonnie Jenkins. He was scheduled to attend Oxon Hill High School this fall.
Anthony Beasley, who has lived in Indian Head Manor for three years, described it as a quiet community where "almost every apartment has kids, of all ages." Beasley, coach of the complex's youth football team, said he is familiar with most of the youths who live there and thinks they are idle and bored.
"It's not like they're fighting every day, but they don't have anything to do," he said.
Yesterday, the neatly kept complex of three-story garden apartments was quiet. A small girl circled the complex on a yellow bicycle, riding over blood-stained cement, the only visible reminder of the violence of the night before.