Man dead, another hospitalized after shooting during ‘car meet’ at Prince George’s Co. shopping center

A Waldorf man was killed and another man hospitalized in a Sunday morning shooting that happened during a “car meet” in District Heights, Maryland, according to police.

The Prince George’s County Police Department said the shooting happened around 1:45 a.m. in the Great Eastern Plaza shopping center parking lot on Marlboro Pike. Officers found 26-year-old John Phipps, of Waldorf, shot inside a vehicle. Phipps was taken to the hospital and pronounced dead.

Police found another man nearby who’d also been shot, but police said his injuries were not considered life-threatening. A woman was also hospitalized for injuries that were not caused by gunshots and were not life-threatening, police said.

Police and legislative leaders in Maryland have been sounding the alarm on these “street meetups” for months, and it’s resulted in legislation that Gov. Wes Moore signed into law this month that will stiffen penalties for certain violations associated with “street meetups.”

That law goes into effect June 1.

“These car meets are a true concern to law enforcement both in our region and across the country. When the department is made aware of specific, credible intelligence, the agency plans accordingly and allocates resources to either prevent or disperse the gathering,” Prince George’s County police Chief Malik Aziz said in a news release. “As is evident in this case, these gatherings can turn violent.”

Police asked anyone with information about Sunday morning’s shooting to contact @PGCrimeSolvers on the web, speak to a detective by calling 301-516-2512, or submit a tip using the P3 Tips app.

PGPD is offering a reward of up to $25,000 for information leading to an arrest and indictment in the case.

A map of the area where the shooting happened is below.

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Thomas Robertson

Thomas Robertson is an Associate Producer and Web Writer/Editor at WTOP. After graduating in 2019 from James Madison University, Thomas moved away from Virginia for the first time in his life to cover the local government beat for a small daily newspaper in Zanesville, Ohio.

Dana Sukontarak

Dana Sukontarak is a Digital Writer/Editor for She loves haiku poetry, short sci-fi stories and word games. She grew up in Prince George’s County, Maryland, and currently lives in Silver Spring.

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