People who knew Jesse A. Chavez of Fort Washington described him as good people, the kind of young man who was loving to his family and considerate to his friends.

He was fatally shot Oct. 21 after attempting to assist a co-worker as a gunman menaced her, authorities said.

“At approximately 10:00 p.m.,…an armed robber walked into the Clarion Hotel in Oxon Hill, produced a handgun, menaced a 22-year old woman who was an employee of the hotel, and demanded the hotel’s money,” said Deputy Chief Henry Stawinski, commander of the Bureau of Patrol, at a news conference Oct. 22.

“Another employee, Jesse Chavez, 27, another victim, observes this and begins to come to the aid of the young woman,” Stawinski added. “The gunman is given the hotel’s money and is in the process of fleeing when he finds Mr. Chavez between him and the exit. Mr. Chavez is then killed as the gunman runs away from the crime.”

The suspect, whose name had not been released by midday Oct. 23, is one of two suspects Prince George’s police released images of in recent days in an attempt to locate them. Police released a portion of a hotel surveillance camera video of the man who is suspected of killing Chavez on Oct. 22.

On Oct. 19, they released a photo of Aaron K. Williams, 16, of the 1400 block of Southern Avenue in Temple Hills. Williams, who is charged as an adult, is wanted in connection with an armed robbery that took place just after 5 p.m. on Aug. 21.

He was indicted on Oct. 10. Police said Williams and a second suspect assaulted and robbed a man in the 1400 block of Southern Avenue in Temple Hills. Police believe Williams used brass knuckles to assault the man, who was treated at a local hospital.

The second suspect, who also has been charged as an adult, has been identified as Malik Savone Ussery, 17. Like Williams, he lives in the same block where the assault and robbery occurred, according to a police statement. Ussery was arrested at home on Aug. 29 and was later released on bond.

Also on Oct. 21, the suspect in a 1989 slaying in Landover was taken into custody in Georgia. Police said when Wayne Randolph Gilgeours, now 46, was stopped by a Georgia State Police trooper for a minor traffic violation, he showed an ID that the officer believed was fake. Using a portable fingerprint scanner, the trooper, Sgt. Charles Chapeau, determined Gilgeours real identity. He was arrested and jailed. Local authorities are seeking his extradition to Maryland. Gilgeours was wanted in connection with the fatal shooting on May 23, 1989, of Philbert Jones, 22, in the 1100 block of Nalley Road in Landover.

“We are pleased to close this case and provide closure for the victim’s family so many years after they lost their loved one,” said Prince George’s police Capt. George Nichols, assistant commander of the Criminal Investigation Division.

In the hotel case, a surveillance video shows a clear image of the suspect. According to {NBC4 News}, $300 was taken.

Chavez was a restaurant manager at the hotel and worked there off and on for nine years. He was a huge Redskins fan. Two days before he died, Chavez surprised his mother, Vivian Chavez, with tickets to the Redskins-Chicago game.

They had personalized jerseys made for the game. The back his was inscribed with “Mr. Latin Bear.” Hers reads “Mamacita.”

“He was a just a big teddy bear, sweet as can be,” Vivian Chavez told reporters Oct. 22 at the hotel where her son was fatally shot. “He was the joy of my life, my first son…I just don’t know how to deal with it just yet.”

Police are looking for a dark-colored, four-door sedan, possibly a Toyota Avalon or Camry.

“We are not sure if there is a getaway driver right now,” Nichols said.

Police have offered a reward of up to $25,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Homicide Unit at 301-772-4925. Anonymous tips can be reported at 1-866-411TIPS, text “PGPD” plus your message to CRIMES (274637) on your cell phone or go to to submit a tip online.

Anyone with information about Williams’ whereabouts is asked to call the Regional Investigation Division—South at 301-749-5064 or report the tip anonymously using the information above.


Courtney Jacobs and Zachary Lester

AFRO Staff Writers