Back-to-back homicides on Friday and Monday nights left two men dead and Montgomery County police canvassing Silver Spring communities for potential witnesses.
So far, no increase to the department’s patrol presence in the busy district is planned, but detectives made steady progress in investigating both homicides as of Tuesday, said Capt. Paul Starks, a Montgomery County police spokesman. With evidence in Friday’s homicide now indicating a more specific motivation for the shooting and early headway in the second death in Briggs Chaney Monday night, Starks was optimistic about the department’s chances to close both cases and ensure the public’s safety.
“Officers in that district are already very cued in to what’s happening in that small area and so is the county; it’s not a complete coincidence that our new district station is being constructed at the intersection of New Hampshire Avenue and Route 29,” Starks said. “I believe these are closeable cases.”
Officers were dispatched at 9:56 p.m. Monday to a possible shooting, but the call quickly led to a homicide investigation when responding officers found an as-yet unidentified male dead on the sidewalk at 13920 Castle Boulevard in Briggs Chaney, according to police.
Montgomery County police spokesman Capt. Paul Starks was unable to confirm the death was related to the shooting, but noted the close proximity.
“We’re still waiting to confirm the victim’s identity, age, address and exactly how he was killed,” Starks said. “But what I will tell you is that we responded to a call for gunshots and a few minutes later we found a person who was dead with trauma to his body.”
Detectives are hopeful that the close proximity of the busy Briggs Chaney Shopping Center to the shooting and steady foot traffic in the neighborhood will result in at least several witness accounts. Detectives have obtained basic suspect descriptions already, but until more information is available, police are taking care not to release too much, Starks said.
“We’re trying to confirm those descriptions and get something out when we get more confirmation on who [the victim] is; even though we have a pretty good idea who he is we want to wait on that so we can talk to his family,” Starks said.
Police were called to the first homicide at 3:45 p.m. Friday in the 11400 block of July Drive in the White Oak area. Officers arrived to find 21-year-old Jesse Patrick Campos dead in his apartment from at least one gunshot wound, Starks said, citing department call records and a report from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.
The call was originally given to officers as a girlfriend who called 911 to report her boyfriend had been shot. Officers did meet with a woman and a second man, a roommate of the victim’s, at the scene. Starks was unable to confirm the relationship between the woman and the victim, but so far both the woman and the male roommate have cooperated with police.
As of Tuesday, detectives believed that Campos’ death was not a random crime, Starks added.
“We’re looking at it more that there was some association or specific motive for him to be a victim,” he said. “... We don’t believe this was random.”
According to police accounts, two suspects entered Campos’ apartment after accosting his male roommate outside, forcing him to open the door. One of the suspects shot Campos, and both fled. Neither the male roommate nor the woman who was in the apartment were injured, Starks added.
While both crimes appear to involve firearms and took place fairly close together in time and proximity, detectives do not believe they are related. Police are hopeful that a pair of $10,000 rewards offered by the Crime Solvers of Montgomery County for information leading to an arrest will prompt additional witnesses to step forward.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Montgomery County police at 240-773-5070. Crime Solvers can be reached at 866-411-8477.