FORT WASHINGTON, Md. – A 16-year-old boy was gunned down as he left a birthday party at a Fort Washington, Md., home last weekend, and officers are begging for tips that will lead them to his killer.
Police say the house party for a teenage girl was carefully planned by her parents. Only certain kids from Friendly High School were invited, and they even had to show ID at the door.
But despite the efforts by adults to keep the party under control, Prince George’s County Police Maj. Michael Straughan said word of the celebration spread to others.
“It went out on Twitter, and it went out on Facebook and it got to people that were not invited. It got to people that weren’t welcome. It got to people who were turned away or just showed up outside,” Straughan said. “So what happened strictly at midnight when the party ended, and a lot of parents were showing up and pulling up to pick up their children, as the crowd was letting out someone in the crowd fired shots.”
The shooting happened early Sunday morning in the 7700 block of Webster Lane, and 16-year-old Marcus Jones was killed.
The gunman is described only as a black male in his late- to early teens, with a medium complexion and a medium build.
Investigators called a community meeting Wednesday night at Friendly High, and urged parents to talk to their kids and convince them to share anything they know about the shooting.
More than 200 parents, students and concerned residents attended.
“Somebody knows who did this, who committed this crime and any information you have, please do not withhold it,” said Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks.
“We cannot tolerate the loss of our young people.”
Prince George’s County Police Maj. Jason Bogue said he, like many who attended the meeting, is a parent.
“It ticks me off that something like this, this tragic event, had to happen because we know it did not,” Bogue said.
“This meeting is about getting information and making certain this case is solved for your community,” Bogue added.
Police have increased patrols in the area where the shooting happened, and the number of school resource officers at the school has been increased from one to two.
Friendly High also has brought in extra psychologists and counselors to help students deal with what happened, but there have been fights at the school and some students have stayed out of class out of fear.
During the meeting, someone asked if the school would consider adding metal detectors.
“We are presenting a comprehensive security plan to the Board of Education on Feb. 7,” said Rex Barrett with Prince George’s County Schools security. “Everything’s on the table as far as that goes. Metal detectors will be part of the proposal, but that’s something that we have to look into.”
Also at the meeting, a man who identified himself as the dead boy’s grandfather took to the microphone speaking in a voice cracking with emotion.
He spoke about losing both his son and grandson to bullets.
Anyone with information about Jones’ death is asked to call Prince George’s County police at (301) 772-4925.
Those who wish to remain anonymous with tips can call Crime Solvers at (866) 411-TIPS.
Those with information also can text “PGPD plus your message” to CRIMES (274637) with a mobile phone, or provide a tip online here.