A weekend gathering of dozens of children outside a Maryland shopping center turned into the site of a deadly dispute that resulted in the arrest of a preteen for murder, police said.
On April 17, a 13-year-old boy was stabbed and wounded and a second boy of the same age was then shot and killed at the Ritchie Station Marketplace in Capitol Heights, The Washington Post reported.
Two days after the homicide, Prince George’s County police announced the arrest of a 12-year-old boy from Washington D.C. they alleged pulled the trigger.
The shooting victim, King Douglas, was an eighth-grade student at Kettering Middle School in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.
The stabbing victim was treated for non-life-threatening wounds at the hospital and released, police said.
According to law enforcement officials, the 12-year-old suspect and the stabbing victim belonged to the same friend group and got into an “argument and physical fight” with shooting victim Douglas’ social circle, The Post reported.
Prince George’s County Police Maj. Brian Reilly said there was “no indication” that Douglas was involved with stabbing the other 13-year-old and investigators are trying to identify a suspect.
Reilly said the 12-year-old arrested for murder allegedly got the gun used in the crime from a friend at the scene.
“Part of the problem here is that parents dropped off dozens and dozens, if not hundreds, of kids with no supervision,” Reilly noted of the shopping center that became a popular place for kids to hang out during the pandemic.
Reilly explained this past year’s overall increase in juvenile crime “happened because there might not be as much supervision going on as there once was.”
The shooting involving the 12-year-old boy is the eighth alleged youth-involved murder in Prince George’s County since the year began.