The spate of homicides in Prince George’s this week is “atypical for the community,” with many of the unrelated fatal shootings stemming from long-standing, personal disputes among the people involved, county Police Chief Hank Stawinski said.
Stawinski addressed the shootings Thursday after a double homicide in District Heights marked the sixth and seventh fatal shootings the Maryland county has seen in a one-week span.
In a majority of cases that detectives are investigating, gunmen have “armed themselves and tried to solve these disputes with gunfire, leading to tragic outcomes,” Stawinski said.
The major exception, Stawinski said, involves the slaying of a man who was gunned down on the Capital Beltway for reasons that remain unclear.
Adriano Lombre, 55, probably didn’t know who shot him while he was traveling along the outer loop of the Beltway near Pennsylvania Avenue exit, police said. Since Lombre’s shooting Sunday, police have been asking the public to come forward with information in the case, which has been challenging for detectives because initially no witnesses or 911 call came in reporting the incident.
Stawinski said the police department has received some information that could “lead to a resolution” in Lombre’s slaying, but urged anyone from the public who was in the area about midnight Sunday to continue calling police with tips.
“We need that information to bring peace to this family,” Stawinski said.
In addition to Lombre, six others have been fatally shot in Prince George’s since July 1.
A man was shot about 12:30 p.m. in Brandywine on Friday during a residential robbery, police said. That shooting has been determined to be a case of self-defense, police said.
●On July 4, a man was shot in the 800 block of Kayak Avenue about 7 a.m. Police are investigating the possibility that the man was shot in a case of self-defense.
Also on July 4, a man was shot in the drive-through of a liquor store in the 7300 block of Landover Road about 3:30 p.m. Someone in the car with him drove him to a hospital, where he later died.
Shortly before 1:30 a.m. on July 5, an 18-year-old was found fatally shot in Suitland.
In the most recent case, two men were killed Thursday in the parking lot of an apartment complex in District Heights. The victims were identified as 34-year-old Phillip Michael of Southeast Washington and 31-year-old Kenneth Edmonds of District Heights.
There were “words exchanged” along with “pushing and shoving” between two groups that were in conflict before the shooting, Stawinski said.
None of the cases appear to be gang-related, Stawinski said.
Detectives have been working around the clock through the July 4 holiday and are close to making arrests in two cases, Stawinski said.
Despite the recent string of shootings, homicides being investigated by Prince George’s police are still down in the county compared with last year, Stawinski said. As of Thursday afternoon, the department has logged 44 homicides compared with 48 this time last year.
Police are asking anyone with information on any of these cases to call 866-411-TIPS (8477). Rewards of up to $25,000 are available for information leading to arrests and indictments.
Justin Wm. Moyer contributed to this report.