Prince George’s Co. police grapple with gun violence

WASHINGTON – Prince George’s County police are grappling with a wave of weekend violence.

From Friday night to Sunday morning, police say individuals reached for guns in drug disputes, robberies and domestic quarrels.

Seven separate shootings left five people dead and four hurt.

“I can testify that this department hasn’t slept in 72 hours,” says police chief Mark McGaw about his officers confronting the spate of shootings. “Investigators have concluded that none of these incidents are connected and none involved random victims.”

The violence began with a Friday night shootout in Landover when a 17-year-old was killed and another gunman wounded in an exchange of gunfire that police believe was drug-related.

“It’s disheartening to see a young man of that age involved in something like this,” McGaw says.

On Saturday night, a woman was shot and killed by another woman inside an apartment in Suitland. Police say the killing grew out of a domestic dispute.

Another domestic quarrel early Sunday morning claimed the life of an Accokeek woman. Police say the woman was killed by her 32-year-old granddaughter.

Also on Sunday morning shortly after 8, police say a 21-year-old man held up a home in District Heights, where he knew all six people present. Police say the gunman shot one man in the leg. A struggle ensued and one of the robbery victims grabbed the gun, shooting and killing the gunman. Police are investigating this shooting as a possible justifiable homicide.

Police say they’re doing all they can to confront the violence and McGaw is hopeful that a countywide effort to be unveiled later this month will help.

County Executive Rushern Baker will head the program, which aims to attack the root causes of the violence, police say.

WTOP’s Dick Uliano contributed to this report.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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