Prince George’s County Police were in crisis mode last weekend as eight shootings from March 30 through April 1 tested the county’s police force. “I’m extremely proud of how the men and women of this agency responded to this crisis,” Chief Mark Magaw said. “I can testify that this department hasn’t slept in 72 hours.”

Five of the shootings were fatal in the most violent spate of crime since January 2011. The youngest victim was a 17-year-old boy and the oldest was an 83-year-old grandmother.

About 9:45 p.m. on March 30, at an apartment complex on Brightseat Road in Landover, Brandon Lee Wiggins, 17, of Capitol Heights was slain during a gun battle with another suspect, who also sustained a non-life threatening gunshot wound. Police said the other shooter was cooperating and the matter was likely drug related.

“We actually had officers in the complex that heard the gunfire. They were right there,” Magaw said. “It happened in a secluded part of the apartment complex and by the time they got there it was over.”

Police said Dorothy McKay Ogden, 83, of Accokeek was shot and killed at 4:25 a.m. on April 1 in her home by her 32-year-old granddaughter Cristalina Suzanne Warner. According to police, the two were having ongoing domestic issues.

An Alexandria man, Lester Flores-Quintanilla, 19, was killed in Lewisdale at 1 a.m. March 31 after being refused entry in the Galaxy Night Club. Police initially said Flores-Quintanilla was killed during a robbery, but the victim also was a member of the notorious MS-13 gang and police are not eliminating a gang connection.

At 7 p.m. the same day in Suitland 25-year-old Ashley Hope McClurkin was allegedly slain inside her apartment. Police said the shooting was the result of a domestic incident involving 24-year-old Audrea Archer Blackwell, who accidentally shot herself during the incident. Her injuries were not life threatening.

On April 1 in District Heights, a man was fatally wounded during an attempted armed robbery when one of his victims wrestled the gun away and shot the suspect.

Police said David Anthony Shaw, 21, entered a home at 8:21 a.m. and announced a robbery. Police said Shaw knew the six people he attempted to rob and shot one of the victims in the leg before one of the other victims wrestled the gun away and shot Shaw. Shaw later died from his injuries.

While the weekend was especially violent, police said violent crime, and overall crime, is down in Prince George’s County.

“The past weekend was an exception of what we’ve experienced for the last 14 months,” Magaw said. “As of today, we have a 37 percent reduction in murders.”

On April 18, the department will announce its Summer Crime Initiative. Police officials are asking anyone with any information regarding these cases to call Crimesolvers at 1-866-411 TIPS (8477) or text “PGPD plus your message” to CRIMES (274637) on your cell phone.

George Barnette

Special to the AFRO