‘PJ should be with us here today’: Prince George’s Co. boy killed by stray bullet remembered at funeral

Petyon Evans (PJ), 8, was killed by a stray bullet entering a relative’s home Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2021, in Landover, Maryland. (Courtesy/Antoine Dotson)

An 8-year-old boy killed by a stray bullet shot into an apartment building in Prince George’s County, Maryland, last month was remembered during a funeral and viewing on Friday.

The body of PJ Evans could be seen at the front of the City of Praise Family Ministries church in Landover as music, dance performances and speeches from local officials and friends honored and celebrated his life.

“A young life was taken innocently from his home,” said Bishop Joel Peebles of the City of Praise Family Ministries.

Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy said through tears at the ceremony that she is dedicated to finding who is responsible for PJ’s death.

“My job as the minister of justice is to see justice and that is exactly what I will do,” Braveboy said.

Prince George’s County Police told WTOP on Friday that there are not any updates in the case and that they “continue to actively investigate the shooting.”

The bishop recognized young football team members of PJ’s at the ceremony, saying, “for all of the young folks that had to experience this, I’m sorry. I’m sorry that this world is not a perfect world.”

Peebles and the church honored PJ through a gift to the community on Friday during the service.

All of the community centers represented at the funeral, Peebles said, will be supporting by the church through funding moving forward.

“This ministry is going to adopt your community center and we are going to host all of your affairs, we are going to host all of your banquets, we are going to pay for your banquets,” Peebles said. “We are a part of your lives.”

He said that also includes trophies and uniforms for youth sports.

Braveboy said that it’s tragic that PJ isn’t able to participate with his football team and reach for his goals.

“The reality is that PJ should be with us here today. He should have been able to grow up and pursue every little dream.”

Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

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