Five charged in slaying of 15-year-old Suitland student -- Gazette.Net



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Five men have been arrested in the fatal shooting of Suitland High School freshman Charles Walker, Jr., who police say was killed over a pair of shoes Monday afternoon.

Walker, 15, was found suffering from a gunshot wound in front of a home on 28th Avenue in Hillcrest Heights near his own residence, Prince George’s police said.

Police said Walker was approached by armed suspects who demanded his shopping bag containing a pair of shoes and when he turned away and ran he was shot in the back.

Maj. Michael Straughan, commander of the Prince George’s police department’s homicide unit, said investigative leads and anonymous tips from the county’s Crime Solvers tip line led detectives to the suspects, who have all been charged with first-degree murder and all have admitted to their involvement.

Derryck Antonio Green, 20, of the 900 block of North Henry Street in Alexandria, Va.; Jermani Maurice Whitner, 18, of the 2900 block of Saint Clair Drive in Temple Hills; Glenn Cornell Leach, 23, of the 1000 block of Southern Avenue in Washington, D.C.,; Tayvon Delonte Williams, 21, of the 6400 block of Livingston Road in Oxon Hill and Kevin J. Smith, 21, of the 2900 block of Saint Clair Drive in Temple Hills were all arrested within 48 hours of the shooting.

Straughan said all five suspects were at the scene of the shooting and were driving a white Ford van, which was found in the District and is now being processed for evidence. He said police are still trying to determine the shooter and the murder weapon has not yet been found.

“The last 48 hours have been a tremendous challenge for our community and this department. Nobody wants this,” said Police Chief Mark Magaw. “We hope today’s news can provide some level of comfort to the family of Charles Walker.”

Police said they believe the suspects had no relationship or connection to Walker and that he was targeted based on the shopping bag he was carrying.

Walker was the fifth county student to be slain this school year, but the student murder is not the most recent.

Less than 24 hours after Walker’s killing, another Suitland freshman, 18-year-old Aaron Burrell Kidd of District Heights was fatally shot in Forestville. Kidd was killed alongside Andre Walter Shuford, 18, of Forestville, who police said was not a county school student.

Kidd and Shuford were found suffering from gunshot wounds in the 3700 block of Donnell Drive around 5:35 p.m. Tuesday. Both were transported to a hospital where they later died.

“This has had a great impact on our community,” said County Councilwoman Karen R. Toles (D-Dist. 7) of Suitland. “Our colleagues are looking at ways of how we can deal with issues of violence in our community.”

Briant Coleman, a spokesman for the county school system, issued a statement after both student homicides.

“We are horrified to learn that tragedy struck another one of our students within a 24-hour time-span. Our hearts are broken again and we extend our deepest sympathy and condolences to the family,” he said in the statement. “We cannot go another day without addressing these unspeakable acts of violence against our students. We are asking for the community’s support as our students, teachers and employees cope with these incidents.”

No arrests have been made in the fatal shooting on Donnell Drive.

Police officials said detectives do not believe the two student killings are connected.

djgross@gazette.net