Docs: Md. 8-year-old was killed 3 hours after alleged shooter released from jail

Charging documents shed light on the details around the killing of 8-year-old PJ Evans in Landover, Maryland, last month.

He’d just played in a football scrimmage and was enjoying Taco Tuesday in an apartment building with his family Aug. 24. A car approached a group of adults gathered outside the building, on Brightseat Road, and someone fired. PJ was shot through a glass sliding door.

Police have arrested three men from a rival neighborhood. The documents said it was the third shooting in two days between the neighborhoods, and that a man who was at the apartment when PJ was shot admitted his responsibility in one of the earlier shootings.

A day earlier, on Aug. 23, the man said, he shot at a car driven by Mark Nkwocha, 23, near Emerson Drive, in Bladensburg, Maryland. The documents say Nkwocha was later arrested fleeing the scene of an accident.

Officers then responded to a second shooting nearby, along Taylor Street in Bladensburg. They later found fired .223- and .45-caliber cartridge casings in front of the shooting location.

While Nkwocha was in the Prince George’s County Detention Center, investigators found, he made three calls to George Shamman, 23.

Shamman was in the parking lot of the detention center when Nkwocha was released and drove off in a white Mercedes with dark-colored wheels, the documents said. That’s how witnesses described the getaway car in the shooting that killed PJ Evans.

Three hours after Nkwocha was released from jail, the documents said, Nkwocha, his 21-year-old brother Desmond Nkwocha and Shamman drove in the white Mercedes to Brightseat Drive in Landover.

Investigators said they found bullet casings at the scene which forensic analysts say were fired from the same gun as in the Taylor Street shooting, according to the documents. Cellphone records from all three men place them near the Landover apartment building where Evans was killed, the documents said.

The brothers and Shamman are both charged with killing PJ Evans, as well as attempted murder in the case of the adults they shot at.

In a statement Friday, Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Alisha Braveboy said of Desmond Nkwocha, “in the two pending cases against him, the State requested that he be held without bond during two separate bail reviews. In both cases against the State’s position, he was released by the court on a monetary bond. However, we intend to fully prosecute both cases on the pending trial dates.”

Megan Cloherty

WTOP Investigative Reporter Megan Cloherty primarily covers breaking news, crime and courts.

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