Pr. Ge­orge’s homi­cide count rises to eight in eight days

The Washington Post Sunday - - WEATHER - BY MARTIN WEIL weilm@wash­post.com

A man was found slain Satur­day in a park­ing lot in the Lan­g­ley Park area of Prince Ge­orge’s County in the county’s eighth homi­cide in the first eight days of the new year.

The man was found a few min­utes af­ter 8 a.m. at an apart­ment com­plex in the 1400 block of Uni­ver­sity Boule­vard East af­ter po­lice were called there for a re­port of a “cut­ting,” po­lice said.

Of­fi­cers found the man with one or more wounds and took him to a hos­pi­tal, where he was pro­nounced dead. As of Satur­day evening, the man had not been named and there was no in­for­ma­tion about the cir­cum­stances of his death.

The apart­ment com­plex in­cludes three-story red brick build­ings on a stretch of Uni­ver­sity be­tween Riggs Road and New Hamp­shire Av­enue. A com­mer­cial area is across the street.

The string of homi­cides has drawn at­ten­tion for the sheer num­ber of killings in­volved, and for the way they co­in­cided with the start of the year. The first of the killings, in Chillum, came on New Year’s Day.

The last be­fore Satur­day’s was a fa­tal shoot­ing Thurs­day in the Seat Pleas­ant area.

A teenager was ar­rested and charged with murder and rob­bery in that in­ci­dent. Po­lice said it stemmed from a dis­pute be­tween the sus­pect and vic­tim.

Po­lice have said that a brief surge in homi­cides is not un­prece­dented. In one 2007 week­end, six were re­ported, a po­lice of­fi­cial said.

Po­lice have also said that the ear­lier Jan­uary killings did not ap­pear to be ran­dom. That in­di­cated a be­lief that the vic­tims in those attacks may have known their as­sailants and been tar­geted.

So far the killings have oc­curred at a rate more than three times as great as last year or the year be­fore, when the av­er­age was about two per week.

Last week, County Ex­ec­u­tive Rush­ern L. Baker III (D) said he did not think that the sud­den spike “por­tends a vi­o­lent year.”

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