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Two shootings in October shake College Park

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Posted on: November 18, 2020

By A.R. Cabral

A 28-year-old man was fatally shot at the 4800 Block of Berwyn House Road on Thursday, October 1, just after 5:00 p.m. According to the Prince George’s County Police Department (PGPD), the victim was identified as Christopher Ryan Harrison of Camp Springs, MD. The shooting took place in the parking lot of the University Club apartments.

According to Lt. Harkirat Singh, Harrison was taken to the University of Maryland, Prince George’s Hospital Center, where he was pronounced dead upon arrival. Singh is an officer with the PGPD Media Relations Division.

According to a PGPD tweet, the initial 911 call was made at 5:10 p.m. Officers from the PGPD, University of Maryland Police Department and Hyattsville Police Department responded.

“I was walking, and I saw an ambulance and some yellow tape blocked off,” said Myron Gilmore, a resident of Washington D.C., who was visiting the apartment the evening of the shooting. “I asked someone what happened, and he said someone got shot.”

When asked if being there made him uncomfortable after hearing about the shooting, Gilmore said, “No it doesn’t; violence can happen anywhere, anytime.” Gilmore is not the only person who felt this way.

“Not too shocked, honestly,” said Zackary Frazier, a 24-year-old resident of University Club apartments, in response to the shooting, “I’ve been hearing gunshots from [around College Park]. I heard gunshots all summer, so the fact that someone got shot? I am not super shocked.”

Britteny Lewis, manager of the University Club apartments, wrote in an email to tenants that neither the victim nor the shooter was a resident of the complex.

According to Prince George’s police, this is an on-going investigation, and the suspect has not been found. Some residents near the apartment complex have voiced their fear.

“[You have to] be extra cautious,” said Tommy Gardiner, a 22-year-old college student who lives close to where the shooting occurred, “especially at night time, because you never know what is going to happen.”

The shooting took place just blocks away from the University of Maryland (UMD). The university sent students text and email alerts about the incident at 5:29 p.m. that evening. A second email was sent 19 minutes later informing students that an armed assault had taken place, and that the suspect had not been found.

The University Club apartments followed up with an email to their tenants. “A shooting occurred yesterday afternoon at our community,” the email started, “… University Club is doing all we can to try and keep our residents’ safety our top priority.” The complex added security patrols shortly after the incident.

A second shooting in College Park bookended the month of October. Seven people were shot at the 7700 block of Baltimore Avenue on October 31, according to Prince George’s County Police Department.

 

The shooting took place in a room at The Hotel sometime after 11 p.m., just across Baltimore Avenue from the University of Maryland campus, according to a message to UMD students from Chief David B. Mitchell of the university’s police department. Students received Mitchell’s alert at 11:30 p.m. and were told to avoid the area. 

In an email to students, University of Maryland President Darryll Pines said the incident was “deeply unsettling,” and encouraged students to check in with each other. Pines also said that the school “has no information that any of the victims are affiliated with the University of Maryland community.”

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