Police urge witness to come forward in shooting that targeted man with special needs

WASHINGTON — Prince George’s County Police Chief Hank Stawinski said “we’re not going to rest until this person’s in custody” after a man from a group home was shot and killed on a Hyattsville street Wednesday afternoon.

Stawkinski said the shooting was especially disturbing because the victim was a man with special needs from an area group home.

The incident reportedly started when two aides and two residents of the group home were walking along Greenbelt Parkway in Hyattsville on their way to a local basketball court.

Stawinski said it is unclear what started the incident.

An occupant of a car became involved in some sort of verbal exchange with the members of the group. Stawinkski said at one point, the man in the car who had been involved in the exchange took a weapon from the car and shot one of the residents of the group home, killing him.

What made the incident more unusual, Stawinski said, was the fact that according to their investigation, the second occupant of the car was reportedly shocked by the action of the shooter and tried to assist the victim, identified as man around 20 years old.

Stawinski says police believe that second person from the car took off when they heard sirens from emergency vehicles approaching the scene.

At Wednesday’s news conference, Stawinski appealed directly to that witness.

“You are not directly responsible for this, based on what we know right now. We’re asking you to come forward,” he said.

“You’ll be helping yourself and helping us, taking a dangerous person off the street.”

Saying that at least a dozen investigators were on the case, Stawinski declared that his department was intent on finding the shooter.

He called it especially disturbing because the victim was a vulnerable adult, adding that “this is senseless … this is pointless.”

Kate Ryan

As a member of the award-winning WTOP News, Kate is focused on state and local government. Her focus has always been on how decisions made in a council chamber or state house affect your house. She's also covered breaking news, education and more.

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