District Heights seeks answers after fatal shooting -- Gazette.Net


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The District Heights community is seeking answers about a homicide while mourning the loss of one of their own.

Michael Smith, 24, of the 2100 block of Ramblewood Drive, was gunned down around 9:59 p.m. Sept. 10 in the 6400 block of Gateway Boulevard, about a half mile from his home.

Prince George’s County police said officers responded to a report of a shooting and found Smith suffering from a gunshot wound. He was pronounced dead on the scene, said Officer First Class Edward Martin, a county police spokesman, who said police are seeking suspects and a motive in the case.

Smith’s family and friends now are wondering who is behind the incident and why someone would commit the “senseless act of violence.”

“No family should have to suffer the loss of a loved one, especially under circumstances where there was no motive involved,” said Randi Thompson of District Heights, who said she had known Smith since the sixth grade. “Officers in District Heights are usually a visible part of the community, yet some ‘thug’ felt comfortable enough to take a life on a main road in this community.”

Smith’s sister Markita Reid, 19, said he attended Suitland High School then transferred to Croom Vocational High School in Cheltenham. He later worked as a mechanic at BJ’s Wholesale Club’s Tire Center in Capitol Heights.

Reid said she will remember him as a lively, fun-loving brother.

“He was fun to be around. He didn’t bring any drama. He was real cool, really chill,” she said. “This was just unexpected. He wasn’t into drugs or anything. It was like an innocent life was taken and we want to know why.”

A candlelight vigil for Smith will take place at 7 p.m. Tuesday at First Baptist Church of District Heights, 7234 Lansdale St.

“Like many of us, Michael has a mother, father, brother, sisters, family, and friends who adore and love him dearly,” Thompson said. “The family and our community needs and deserves answers.”

djgross@gazette.net