Prince George's County police believe a 15-year-old boy shot Monday afternoon in Hillcrest Heights, Md., was killed for a pair of shoes, Chief Mark Magaw said Tuesday.
Suitland High School freshman Charles Michael Walker Jr. was carrying a pair of shoes in a shopping bag, and police believe his killer or killers targeted him for those shoes, which were found at the scene, Magaw said.
Magaw said that the motive was robbery.
"There's little rough boys around here a little jealous because [others] got things and they don't," Walker's aunt Laurice Massey told News4's Erika Gonzalez.
Massey said her nephew was headed to a bus stop when he was killed and wasn't the kind of teen who got into trouble.
"I was in the house asleep, and my sister called me and said her son is laying on the ground," Massey said.
Prince George's County police received a call around 4:20 p.m. Monday and found Walker laying on the ground in the 4000 block of 28th Avenue with gunshot wounds. He was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Friends of Walker told News4's Megan McGrath that Walker had picked up a pair of Timberland shoes and was taking them to his girlfriend the afternoon he died. They said they couldn't believe someone would take his life over something so trivial.
"[He's] like my brother, and as soon as I heard it, I just broke down, tears and everything," said a friend of Walker's.
Police are investigating his death as a homicide. They said the investigation is progressing quickly.
Walker was the fifth student killed in Prince George’s County this school year alone. Magaw said the four previous cases also are close to closure, News4's Tracee Wilkins reported.
“We are deeply saddened by the tragic death of one of our students," read a statement from Prince George's County Public Schools. "These senseless acts of violence against our children are becoming all too familiar and far too common. We extend our deepest condolences to the student’s family and friends during this very difficult time. Grief counselors will be available to assist our students, teachers and staff for as long as it is necessary."
Police said they are developing a strategy to prevent youth violence that includes partnerships in the community.
“We need our community to come together to ensure that we are not just reacting,” State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks said. “Something greater has to be done. We need our parents to wrap their arms around their children, to teach them the proper values: Go to school, work hard and then buy tennis shoes. We don’t kill individuals for tennis shoes.”
Anyone with information about the death 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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