Even though a series of murders happened over Prince George’s County’s roll into the new year, crime in the county for 2014 was overall lower than the year before, according to a media spokesperson from the police department.

“We finished 2014 with dramatic drops in crime,” Lt. William Alexander told the AFRO in an email Jan. 7. “Overall crime, violent crime, and property crime, are all (individually) down 9 for the year (2014 vs 2013), which is on top of historic drops in crime since County Executive Baker took office in 2010 and appointed Chief Mark Magaw.”

Alexander said overall crime was down 33.4 percent since 2010, property crime was down 32.9 percent, and violent crime was down 36.5 percent.  He added that the county had 54 homicides in 2014, which was the lowest number of homicides since 1985.

“While we are not happy with any level of crime, we are certainly proud of the progress we have made over the last 4 years,” Alexander said. “We are continuing to work to further reduce crime in our community, and fully expect to announce further reductions in 2015.”

However, the first homicide of 2015 happened only a few hours into the new year with a reported shooting in the early morning of Jan. 1. Officers were called to the 9600 block of Milestone Way in College Park where they found 22-year-old Stefon Donnell Powell of Addison Road in District Heights in a parking garage suffering from gunshot wounds.  He was pronounced dead on the scene.

Another homicide occurred hours before the county’s first homicide in 2015. On Dec. 31 officers were called to the 800 block of Balsamtree Drive in Capitol Heights, Md. for a suspicious looking car in a roadway.  When they arrived, they found taxicab driver Kedir Yahya of Orren Street in Northeast D.C. suffering from an apparent gunshot wound.  Yahya, 28, was pronounced dead on the scene.

On Dec. 30 officers were called to the 1600 block of Woodhill Court for a reported welfare check call. They found a man inside his home suffering from gunshot wounds. He was also pronounced dead on the scene.

Detectives are still working to identify the suspect(s) and motive in these cases.  A reward of up to $25,000 is being offered for information leading to an arrest and indictment in this case.  Anyone with information about this homicide is urged to call 1-866-411-TIPS.

Anyone with information about any of these recent crimes are asked to call the Prince George’s County Police Department’s Homicide Unit at 301-772-4925. Callers wishing to remain anonymous may call CRIME SOLVERS at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477), text “PGPD plus your message” to CRIMES (274637) on your cell phone or go to and submit a tip online.

Washington D.C. Editor LaTrina Antoine contributed to this article.