A man shot a teenager in apparent self-defense during an armed robbery and attempted carjacking in Bowie, Maryland, on Tuesday.
Bowie police said the man was approached by four male teenagers armed with handguns around 5 p.m. in the 14900 block of Health Center Drive, close to the University of Maryland Health Center. Police said the teens robbed him and then demanded his car keys.
At that point, “the victim was able to produce a handgun and fired in what we believe to be self-defense, striking one of the robbery suspects,” said John Nesky, chief of the Bowie Police Department, during a news conference Wednesday.
The victim is described as a 38-year-old man who had a registered handgun from another state.
Two of the suspected robbers ran off, including the teen who was shot, while the other two fled in a stolen car. Police were eventually able to catch up to all four.
Dane Gayle, 17, of Bladensburg, Jonathan Burgess, 16, of Upper Marlboro, and Jaden Jones, 17, of Hyattsville, have all been charged as adults. A 15-year-old male has been charged as a juvenile.
Police found the 15-year-old near the health center and Jones, who had been shot, inside the center. Nesky did not give an update on Jones’ condition but said he doesn’t believe his injuries are life-threatening.
Gayle and Burgess drove off in a car that had been stolen in Virginia. Prince George’s County police later found the car and chased it, resulting in a crash in Glen Dale around 9 p.m. Tuesday. Nesky said he did not believe there were any injuries in the crash.
Describing the suspects as “dangerous individuals,” Nesky said Bowie police are coordinating with Prince George’s County police and neighboring jurisdictions to see whether the suspects are tied to any other cases in the area.
Nesky said a confluence of factors is likely driving a recent surge in juvenile crime.
“I don’t have all the answers, but if you look at the adult population, and the rise in assaults and bad behavior and frustrations, think about dealing with that as a juvenile and lacking the maturity to process some of the things that are happening in the world today,” he said.
“If you don’t have those support systems, if you don’t have any other kind of boundaries or guardrails in the system, you’re going to get these kinds of actions, I think,” Nesky said.
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