Crime and Courts

Guns, Snapchat and THC: Police Detail How a Possible Drug Deal Turned Fatal

Two teens each brought a gun when they met up, possibly over the sale of vape cartridges, police say

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A Maryland police officer's 17-year-old son tried to sell marijuana products on Snapchat and messaged his address to his alleged killer less than an hour before his death, court documents say.

Bradley Alan Brown was shot and killed in the driveway of his home on Warehouse Landing Road in Charles County just before 7 a.m. Tuesday, police said. The North Point High School student was the son of a Prince George's County detective.

Officers arrested another 17-year-old boy, Darryl Edward Freeman, of Waldorf, and charged him as an adult with first-degree murder, assault and weapons charges. Freeman played football at Thomas Stone High School and, like Brown, also was an honor roll student.

A suspect was arrested in the killing of 17-year-old Bradley Brown. Brown was shot in his family's driveway in Charles County. News4's Shomari Stone reports.

Charging documents reveal Freeman and Brown each brought a gun when they met, possibly over the sale of vape cartridges containing the active ingredient in marijuana, THC.

Detectives investigating the killing found that Brown had been advertising high-potency THC vape cartridges on Snapchat. He chatted with an account under the name Darryl, according to court documents. Freeman allegedly sold marijuana.

About 6:15 p.m. Tuesday, Brown messaged his address to Freeman, police say. Neighborhood surveillance cameras showed a dark-colored car with shiny wheels arrive about 25 minutes later and linger in front of Brown's home.

At 6:50 p.m., gunshots rang out, striking Brown in the chest and leg, police say. After the shooting, the driver sped off toward Indian Head Highway.

Brown was pronounced dead by emergency medical responders at the scene, police said. His father's fully loaded Smith & Wesson handgun was found near his body, court documents say.

Officers reported recovering two 9 mm shell casings in the driveway of the home.

Once officers began searching Brown's iPhone, they were able to follow digital footprints back to their suspect — even though after the shooting Freeman changed his username and tried to block Brown's account.

Asearch is underway Wednesday morning for the person who shot and killed a 17-year-old in the driveway of his home in Charles County, Maryland. News4's Justin Finch reports the teen was the son of a Prince George's County police officer.

Freeman listed his phone number on a football recruitment video posted to Twitter, court documents say. When a detective saved that number to his phone and opened Snapchat, Freeman's alleged account popped up.

When Freeman was arrested Wednesday, detectives found that Snapchat account on his phone, along with searches about THC vape cartridges. GPS evidence put him at the scene of the crime, and his car matched the one caught on camera.

Brown and Freeman didn't explicitly discuss the sale of any cartridges over Snapchat, court documents say. Officers didn't find any cartridges when searching Brown's bedroom, home and car. Nor did police report finding any with Freeman during his arrest. But police have said they believe the killing is drug-related.

Police haven't offered an explanation of how the interaction turned deadly. It's unclear if they believe Freeman acted alone or was with someone else.

Brown was part of the competitive criminal justice program at his high school. He was the son of a detective and brother of two officers, all for Prince George's County. He ran cross-country and had just been named an Eagle Scout.

Freeman also was a high achiever. He comes from a good home and family, a neighbor said.

Prince George's County police said they're looking into how Brown got his father's weapon.

Update (Friday, Feb. 21, 2020): A second person has been arrested in the case, police say. Read the latest.

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