Acting Mayor looks to inspire anti-violence awareness and community mentorship

DISTRICT HEIGHTS, MD – Nearly one week after 18-year-old Deniro Monts was fatally shot in Prince George’s County, a vigil will be held to honor his life and call for an end to neighborhood violence.

The vigil, which will be this Saturday, May 23, 2020 at 7:00 p.m., will address the actions underway to combat community violence and will provide a platform for mentoring program providers to extend their program services to those in need.

Two people hold hands during a prayer vigil. (AP Photo/Branden Camp)

Deniro Monts was fatally shot on Sunday, May 17 just a few blocks from his home where he lived with his mother and two siblings. District Heights Acting Mayor Johnathan Medlock was a mentor and close friend of the Monts family.

“We want to end the violence. To do that, we need to be the change we want to see. We want the people who intend to bring harm to our community to know that we are standing together and will not stand by idly. We will be vigilant in protecting the safety of our loved ones,” Medlock says.

The vigil will be this Saturday, May 23, 2020, at 7:00 p.m. at 6800 Atwood Street. Prayers will be led by Rev. Dr. Gerald Folsom of Hemingway Memorial AME Church and Rev. Dr. Pastor Bobby Manning First Baptist Church of District Heights. Community leaders, elected officials, and friends and family of the Monts are invited to speak as well.

The shooting that killed Monts injured three other people and occurred around 4 p.m. in the 6800 block of Atwood Street in the District Heights area. Monts was found on the sidewalk with gunshot wounds and was later pronounced dead at the hospital.

According to reports, Prince George’s Police Department homicide detectives are working to identify suspects and determine motive. Detectives do not believe this was a random crime.

Police presence has increased in the area, and the Prince George’s County Gang Task Force is involved with plans to neutralize gang activity. Several groups including Jacob’s Ladder Youth Foundation, 100 Black Men of Prince George’s County, and Push4Greatness have been invited to provide additional mentorship to area youth.