Three men have been arrested in the killing of an 8-year-old boy in Prince George's County, police said Wednesday.
The suspects, 21-year-old Desmond Nkwocha, 23-year-old Mark Nkwocha and 23-year-old George Shamman, all face attempted first-degree murder, second-degree murder and weapons-related charges, police said.
"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," said Prince George's County Police Chief Malik Aziz on Thursday.
Eight-year-old Peyton “PJ” Evans 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.
Police said that a group of adults were gathered outside on the 1600 block of Brightseat Road when three men approached in a white sedan.
"One occupant from that white sedan fired shots toward the area that this group was gathered," authorities said. "The child, who was not outside, was struck by gunfire and subsequently was pronounced deceased."
The three suspects are being held without bond.
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, Tiffani Evans, 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 presser on Thursday, Evans said police solved the case in 21 days—her son's favorite number.
“Long live PJ, long live 21,” she said. "Twenty-one is our angel number."
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," Evans continued.
Chief Aziz said they can’t say who pulled the trigger and killed the boy. Detectives are still investigating where the guns involved in the crime came from, Aziz said.
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.