The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Five weekend homicides in Prince George’s show ‘tragic trend of gun violence’

Weekend shootings brought the number of homicides Prince George’s police have investigated to 62 this year, still down compared with 84 the same time last year

Prince George's County Executive Angela Alsobrooks (D), Police Chief Malik Aziz and county council member Mel Franklin (D-At Large) during a crime walk in 2021. (Bonnie Jo Mount/The Washington Post)

Five people have been killed in Prince George’s County since Friday, including a 16-year-old boy, making this past weekend the deadliest of the summer — even as overall homicide rates in the county are down.

On Monday, police announced the names of those killed by gunfire in separate shootings across the county, including in Seat Pleasant, unincorporated Upper Marlboro and Temple Hills. It was an especially violent weekend for the county, where — unlike the District — homicide rates so far this year have been lower compared with recent years. Violent crime, including homicides, shootings and carjackings, spiked in 2020 and again in 2021 after a decade of decline.

Homicides soar in District, Maryland suburbs in 2021

This weekend’s violence brought the total homicides investigated by Prince George’s County police for 2022 to 62 — compared with 84 killings this time last year. Police Deputy Chief James McCreary said in an interview that the community is still “recovering” from the increased violence of 2020 and 2021.

“Our condolences and hearts go out to each of the five victims that were involved in the violence over the weekend,” McCreary said. “We are taking it seriously, and we are seriously concerned with these incidents.”

Summer crime initiatives in Pr. George’s aim to reduce violence

McCreary said police do not have any information to suggest the five shootings are connected. It’s unclear, he said, what may have prompted the weekend spike other than “unfortunate circumstances.”

“We’re still trying to figure it out ourselves,” McCreary said. “There’s no link in any of these investigations.”

The weekend’s first fatality was reported Friday evening, when county officers and the Seat Pleasant Police Department were called to the 6300 block of Seat Pleasant Drive at about 8:45 p.m. for the report of a shooting. Police said they found 16-year-old Antonio Parker Jr., in the parking lot of a convenience store with a gunshot wound. The teenager died at the hospital.

Prince George’s police said detectives are still investigating the cause of the shooting and who might have pulled the trigger.

At about 2:25 a.m. Saturday, Prince George’s County police were called for a shooting in the 12800 block of William Beanes Road in an unincorporated area of Upper Marlboro, officials said. They found 29-year-old Kavon Glover, of D.C., in the road with multiple gunshot wounds. He died at the scene, police said, and the investigation is ongoing.

About 24 hours later, Seat Pleasant and Prince George’s County police responded to a report of another shooting in the city, where at about 1 a.m. they found 20-year-old LaDainian McMillan in the parking lot of a carryout restaurant in the 5700 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Highway. McMillan, of Seat Pleasant, had been shot multiple times, police said, and was taken to a hospital where he died. Police spelled the victim’s name as LaDainain McMillian in a news release, but his family confirmed the spelling as LaDainian McMillan.

Prince George’s County detectives are investigating who fired the shots and whether the violence was related to a verbal dispute, police said.

By Sunday night, detectives were launching two more homicide investigations.

Tyren Spry, 21, of Cheltenham, died after he was shot multiple times in the 10200 block of Twayblade Court in unincorporated Upper Marlboro, police said. Officers were called to the area at about 8 p.m., and detectives are still investigating the circumstances of the shooting.

Terrence Koonce, 51, of Fort Washington, was killed at about 9:25 p.m. in what detectives say they believe was a “road rage” incident in the 4400 block of St. Barnabas Road in Temple Hills. Koonce was in a “minor fender bender” with another vehicle, McCreary said, and the other driver shot and killed him. Koonce was taken to the hospital, police said, where he died.

The weekend’s death toll, McCreary said, is an example of “the tragic trend of gun violence.”

“Far too many of these disputes are being settled with firearms,” he said. “Hopefully we’ll be able to bring some closure to the victims with these investigations.”

Attempts to contact families of the victims were not immediately successful or some relatives declined to comment Monday afternoon.

Officials are offering rewards of up to $25,000 for information that leads to arrests and indictments in each of the five homicide cases.

Nonfatal shootings are down this year, 166 compared with 185 the same time last year, but the gun violence is still concerning, officials said.

McCreary said the police department is continuing to operate its summer violence prevention initiatives, which include increased patrolling, neighborhood walks and community events. Separately, the office of State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy has been promoting anti-violence efforts through its “Our Streets, Our Future” programming.

“We must unite. We must work together to stop the violence that threatens our future generation and our quality of life,” Braveboy said in a statement. "My office’s record is very clear, if you take someone’s life you will not get away with it. You will be prosecuted, you will be held accountable and you will face severe consequences.”

Clarence Williams contributed to this report.