Gunshots hit Spice 6, Busboys, and Palette Apartments; no injuries reported
By Jordan Williams
On Thursday, July 15 at 9:23 p.m., a shooting took place in front of the Spice 6 in Hyattsville on Jefferson Street. From what we know so far, nobody was physically injured.
Police have released surveillance footage of the incident. The suspect in a white BMW SUV was waiting and watching for someone to leave a business on the block and get into a car, according to a police spokesperson. When the target entered the car, the shooter immediately jumped from the BMW and opened fire at the target’s car for seven seconds.
Bullets flew in all directions, hitting the surrounding businesses. One shot went through the window of Pallette Apartments’ lobby, another through Spice 6, another through Essential Day Spa, and another through the window of Busboys and Poets. The shooter then entered the passenger seat of the BMW and drove northbound on Baltimore Avenue. There were two other suspects in the BMW.
Surveillance footage shows multiple families with children walking down the street when the shooting started. People were getting frozen yogurt at Yogi Castle down the street and eating dinner in the outdoor seating of Busboys and Poets, where a poetry open mic night was happening inside.
The shooting left the community appalled. On a neighborhood parents’ listserv, parents asked for resources for children traumatized by the event. “[I’m] almost at a loss for words. I considered this shopping center safe… For something like this to happen, it’s just shocking,” Cheryl Fountain, the owner Frame Savvy, told NBC Washington. Fountain’s small business had been a staple of the shopping center for nearly 10 years.
Scott Dunkley, acting HCPD chief, told NBC Washington, “I grew up in Hyattsville and had never seen anything like this happen before.” The building complex has historically been a safe area where crime is rare.
The shooter used a rifle of some kind, as shown from the bullet casings on the crime scene.
Nothing else is known about the suspects or the target except for their appearance, thanks to the surveillance camera footage.
The target’s vehicle was a dark gray SUV believed to be a Toyota Highlander, according to the Hyattsville City Police Department (HCPD) press release. Nobody has come forward to claim ownership of the Toyota. The driver’s side mirror broke off during the shooting.
Residents should be on the lookout for the target’s dark gray Toyota Highlander with a missing driver’s side mirror, as well as the suspects’ white BMW SUV. All information and witness accounts should be reported to the HCPD (301.985.5060). More information about the ongoing investigation is expected to be released next week.