The mother of an 8-year-old boy who was shot and killed in Landover, Maryland, on Tuesday joined other members of the community for a vigil Wednesday night to commemorate the life of Peyton Evans, also known as P.J.
WTOP’s news partners at NBC Washington reported on the vigil, where Evans was remembered as a rising third-grader, a straight-A student and a dedicated football player.
“He’s all I had, he’s all I lived for,” Tiffani Evans, P.J.’s mom, told NBC Washington‘s Shomari Stone.
“I sacrificed so much in my life for that little boy and now my son is gone to some coward dudes that wanted to do some coward things instead of being a man.”
Watch the NBC Washington report:
Earlier on Wednesday, Prince George’s County Police Chief Malik Aziz told reporters that authorities are hunting for the suspect in the shooting.
The chief called what happened a “horrific incident,” saying he wants to “assure our citizens that we are working diligently to find the people responsible for this senseless act of violence where one of our youngest citizens was taken from us.”
Prince George’s police have said that Peyton Evans was not targeted in the shooting, which happened in the 1600 block of Brightseat Road, near Kenmoor Middle School, around 8:20 p.m. on Tuesday. Police said a white sedan pulled into an apartment complex, a man got out and started firing multiple rounds into an apartment building.
Tiffani Evans said her son was eating tacos and playing video games when he was shot inside a relative’s apartment. She said that before he closed his eyes, she told him she loved him.
Evans also said that her son loved his family, friends and teammates, some of whom were at the vigil.
In fact, the night he was killed, Evans said her son was celebrating a scrimmage his team, the Showcase Sharks, had won.
Peyton was getting ready to start third grade and had already gone shopping for new shoes for the school year. His mother described him as a mathematician with a bright future.
Aziz said that police are looking for the man who pulled the trigger but did not rule out the possibility of additional suspects.
“Right now we’re looking for the person who fired that weapon. So we’re looking for one person, but I can’t say if others are involved in it or not,” Aziz said. “And if it is more than one who was responsible, we’re going to get that person too. But right now, we know that one person … fired some shots that killed an 8-year-old kid.”
Aziz added that the suspect should turn himself in.
“Be a man,” he said. “Turn yourself in. Come forward. Be the man that you were not last night.”
Details about the suspect have not yet been released.
Anyone with information about Evans’ death is asked to call 1-866-411-TIPS.
WTOP’s Will Vitka contributed to this report.