Four suspects were indicted in connection with the death of 8-year-old Peyton "PJ" Evans, the Prince George's County State's Attorney's Office said.
Three suspects -- 21-year-old Desmond Nkwocha, 23-year-old Mark Nkwocha and 23-year-old George Shamman -- each face numerous charges, including murder, use of a firearm during a violent crime, attempted murder, first-degree assault and conspiracy. All three men were arrested earlier this month and face a combined total of 56 counts.
“This bright little boy, his death, I think it just weighed on all of us, and we were determined, along with the police department, to find those who were responsible and hold them accountable,” State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy said.
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Dominque Johnson, 21, is also in custody, charged with attempted murder, first-degree assault, use of a firearm in the commission of a violent crime and reckless endangerment. According to court documents, he told police he was the likely target of the shooting that killed PJ because the night before in Bladensburg he fired shots into the car of the men charged with PJ's murder.
“The death and murder of this 8-year-old child is devastating and is being taken very seriously in my office. I am making it my personal mission to ensure that we achieve justice for the family of little PJ Evans,” Braveboy said in a news release.
PJ was killed Aug. 24 after he was shot while in a relative's apartment in Landover, Maryland, playing a video game and eating tacos, his family said.
Johnson was in the group outside the apartment where PJ was shot.
“My hope is that people recognize that they cannot resolve disputes with handguns,” Braveboy said. “They don't know who will be impacted. Here we have the death of an innocent little 8-year-old for nonsense. This was nonsense.”
Desmond Nkwocha has active felony firearm charges from two separate cases including one from this year, Braveboy previously said. He wasn't in jail, although he's violated probation before.
Braveboy said the state requested Desmond Nkwocha be held without bond during two separate bail reviews. In both cases, the court released him on a monetary bond, she said.
"However, we intend to fully prosecute both cases on the pending trial dates," Braveboy said in a statement.
"These suspects attempted to steal an innocent child's future, but we know his legacy will live on, and his light can never be extinguished," Aziz said.
The three suspects are being held without bond.
“Tears rolled, of course, seeing the faces of the guys who did this to my son,” said PJ's mom, Tiffani Evans. “It's like a confused feeling, but at the same time it's a grateful feeling, because that's one less person that they can hurt.”
PJ was getting ready to start third grade and had already gone shopping for new shoes for the school year, his family said. His mom described him as a mathematician and said he had a bright future.
"That's all I had. That’s all I lived for. … I sacrificed so much in my life for that little boy, and now my son gone to some coward dudes that wanted to do some coward things instead of being a man," she said.
At a previous news conference, Tiffani Evans said police solved the case in 21 days—her son's favorite number. The family wore T-shirts with the number 21 in honor of PJ.
“Long live PJ, long live 21,” she said. "Twenty-one is our angel number."
Tiffani Evans also spoke to parents.
“Hold your babies every day and tell them they love them because they are our future," she said.
"Every kid in this area has me forever," she continued.
If anyone has more information about this fatal shooting, they are asked to call detectives at 301-516-2512 or anonymously at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477) and refer to case number 21-0038549.