The gleaming black Dodge Charger appeared a point of pride. Neighbors often saw Alonzo Jackson outside his Southeast Washington home, washing the car and making it shine.
At about 7 a.m. Wednesday, Jackson had just filled its tank at a gas station in Capitol Heights when someone fatally gunned down the 68-year-old man, hopped in and sped off in the prized possession.
Police are searching for the man who killed Jackson and for his missing car in what authorities are calling a senseless killing.
“This is a tragic murder,” said Christina Cotterman, a spokeswoman for Prince George’s County police. “This man was going about his day doing what we all do.”
Jackson was shot at a station in the 4900 block of Marlboro Pike, police said. He died shortly after he was taken to a hospital.
Authorities on Thursday released surveillance video from the gas station, hoping someone will call in with information that will lead to an arrest.
Police are also asking people to be on the lookout for the suspect and missing car, with D.C. tags DF 0113.
In Jackson’s neighborhood Thursday, friends, family and neighbors were coming to grips with his death. Outside the gated yard of Jackson’s brick home, a nephew had family photos to show reporters: a large group of family members gathered in front of cars, a photo of Jackson and his wife smiling.
His family declined to comment, but Jackson’s neighbors remembered him as an important part of the community.
“When you say you have a good neighbor, that’s the definition of Mr. Jackson,” said Darrell Adams, who lives across the street from the Jackson home. Whether relating to his car or his yard, Adams said “he was a meticulous person.”
Adams, 63, recalled Jackson’s willingness to lend a hand. If there was snow that needed shoveling or yard work that needed to be done, Jackson would show up to help his neighbors, often without their asking, Adams said. His loss will be felt sharply, he said.
“It’s going to take a while to get over this,” Adams said. “It’s like a dream. Of all people.”
Mary Shields, another neighbor, said Jackson was like a brother to her. She, too, recalled him as always being ready to help when he saw a neighbor in need.
“He was like the grandfather of the neighborhood,” Shields, 66, said.
On most days, Shields said Jackson would strike up a conversation with her as she going to her car or while she was in her yard. His presence and smile made her feel as if someone was always looking out for her — a feeling Shields said she’ll miss.
“We’d talk for half an hour, 45 minutes,” she said. “I’m not going to have that anymore.”
Prince George’s police went door to door in the Capitol Heights neighborhood, seeking information on Jackson’s death.
Authorities are offering a reward of up to $25,000 for information leading to an arrest and indictment in the case. Police are asking anyone who sees the suspected shooter to call 911.
Anyone with information who wants to remain anonymous can call 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).
Jennifer Jenkins contributed to this report.