PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY, MD. -- There have been seven fatal shootings in Prince George's County since July 1, including a double homicide early Thursday.
Prince George's County Police Chief Hank Stawinski said this current spike is not indicative of the county as homicides are down over 10% from this time last year. He said detectives are close to solving two of the cases and have strong leads in the others.
"Pointless. So one party is aggravated with another party, it devolves into a physical confrontation, and then it evolves into gunfire," said Stawinski.
As to the Beltway case, which left Adriano Lombre, 55, dead, Stawinski would not speak to a motive but said they have viable information that may lead to a closure.
"It’s a difficult case because of the circumstances. The beltway is not a traditional community where people live and see things and talk about things," Stawinski added.
Stawinski credited the community with helping to the drop in homicide cases in 2017, by calling in concerns before they turn deadly allowing police and community leaders to intervene. He specifically thanked the faith community and Rev. Tony Lee, the pastor of Community of Hope A.M.E. Church.
"It really is community being alert enough to see what’s happening and then having the heart enough to sit down with people to show them that there can be other ways to do it," said Rev. Lee.
He added the county can not arrest its way out of this problem and it has done a good job of addressing the needs and concerns of residents that may lead to crime and violence. But in these recent situations, he said violence starts not just when there is a shooting but with the way people interact with each other and it is on parents to teach that to their kids.
"When we’re in our own interpersonal interactions we’ve got to realize the kind of atmosphere we set even in our own interpersonal interactions can have an impact on the kind of communities that we’re developing."