Emotions in Prince George's County are running high in the wake of the slaying of seven students this school year - including three killed this week.
Wednesday, Prince George's County police arrested five suspects and charged them in connection with the shooting death of a 15-year-old Suitland High School student Monday.
Meanwhile, a second victim died following a shooting in Forestville that happened less than 24 hours after the Monday shooting, News4 Prince George's County Bureau Chief Tracee Wilkins reported.
And a vigil for Monday's victim, Charles Walker Jr., turned chaotic as an argument broke out among mourners. Police had to gain control of the situation.
This week's series of shootings has deeply troubled educators and community leaders in Prince George's County. In the first incident, Walker,, a 15-year-old freshman at Suitland High, was shot and killed Monday afternoon in Hillcrest Heights, Md.
Just minutes after police held a news conference on that homicide Tuesday, two more teenagers were shot in Forestville, Md. Aaron Burrell Kidd, an 18-year-old Suitland High freshman, died at an area hospital Tuesday.
The second victim, 18-year-old Andre Walter Shuford, died Wednesday afternoon.
Police closed the Walker case with the arrests of 20-year-old Derryck Green of Alexandria, 18-year-old Jermani Whitner of Temple Hills, 23-year-old Glenn Leach of southeast D.C., 21-year-old Tayvon Williams of Oxon Hill and 21-year-old Kevin Smith of Temple Hills, Prince George's County Police Chief Mark Magaw said. Each admitted involvement in the shooting and each is charged with first-degree murder.
Investigators recovered the white Ford van the five men were in when Walker was shot but have not recovered the weapon, police said. Police have no indication that the suspects knew the victim. No one else was involved, according to police.
Police credited numerous tips they received through Crime Solvers with helping them close the case.
Walker, Kidd and Shuford became the fifth, sixth and seventh Prince George’s County teenagers killed this school year.
Kidd had experienced some learning difficulties and had briefly left school before returning, his mother, Theresa Williams, told Wilkins. Kidd was also an expectant father.
“He was a good kid,” she said. “He wouldn’t hurt a soul.”
Williams said that she had already been mourning for the teenager killed a day earlier when she heard the news about her own son.
"I was so hurt, I just started praying for that mother and that little boy," she said. "And just to know that I had just took my son to school and I wouldn't see him again..."
Shuford and Kidd were found in a parking lot at an apartment complex in the 3700 block of Donnell Drive shortly after 5:30 p.m.
“We are horrified to learn that tragedy struck another one of our students within a 24-hour time-span," a statement from Prince George's County Public Schools said Tuesday. "Our hearts are broken again and we extend our deepest sympathy and condolences to the family.
"We cannot go another day without addressing these unspeakable acts of violence against our students," the statement read. "We are asking for the community’s support as our students, teachers and employees cope with these incidents.”
"Far too many times this school year we have lost teenagers at the hand of a gun," County Executive Rushern Baker said in a statement Wednesday morning. "...It is time [to] channel our pain and anger towards addressing this situation."
The shootings are not connected, Prince George's County police said. Police believe Suitland freshman Walker was targeted for shoes he was carrying in a shopping bag.
Walker's brother Sean Foster, wearing a shirt with a photo montage of his slain brother, told News4's Shomari Stone he was pleased to hear about the arrests.
"Words can't describe what I feel today," Suitland High School algebra teacher Cindy Jones told Stone Tuesday night. "...I am trembling right now with grief. This has got to stop somewhere!"
At a news conference shortly before Tuesday's double shooting, police said they are developing a strategy to prevent youth violence that includes partnerships in the community.
There will be increased security and counselors for students and staff at Suitland High for the remainder of the week.
The students died in "senseless murders, senseless," Jones said.
Anyone with information about either shooting should call police at 301-772-4925 or make anonymous tips to Crime Solvers by calling 866-411-TIPS/8477, texting "PGPD" and the tip to CRIMES/274637 or online here.
Stay with News4 and NBCWashington.com for updates as they become available.
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