(Posted 1 Dec 2006)
Most of the area covered by the report is less than half a mile from police headquarters.
Slayings Outrage Landover Area
By Joshua Partlow
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, December 1, 2006; B06
A 13-year-old boy dribbled his mini-basketball up to the yellow police tape blocking Greenleaf Road and looked at the crime scene.
"Somebody die?" Joseph Bratten asked yesterday afternoon. "Somebody always die over here. Nothing new."
With four people found slain along the same half-mile stretch in Prince George's County over the past four months, some residents along Greenleaf Road demanded that police become more aggressive in trying to stop what has become disturbingly regular violence. In addition to the four Greenleaf killings, a 17-year-old boy and 30-year-old man were fatally shot this week on nearby streets in the Landover area.
"It's really gotten worse," said Ted Hatcher, 60, who has lived in the Palmer Park neighborhood for 37 years. "I don't know if it's drug-related or what. But I know they're doing too much shooting. This has gotten to be enough."
Neighbors said they were startled about 7:20 a.m. yesterday when they heard gunshots, followed by the sound of a car crash in the 7800 block of Greenleaf Road. According to the residents, a man either on a bicycle or on foot was talking to the driver of a silver sedan and then shot him, neighbors said. The man in the sedan then started to drive and crashed into a parked car. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.
The victim was identified as Kevin Hardy, 37, of the 2200 block of Tuemmeler Avenue in Palmer Park, said Cpl. Stephen Pacheco, a police spokesman. Late yesterday afternoon, police arrested Herbert Sidbury, 23, near his home in the 7800 block of Greenleaf Road, Pacheco said. Authorities charged Sidbury with first-degree murder, saying that he shot Hardy during an argument.
Police plan to increase patrols in the neighborhood to maintain a more visible presence, said Lt. April Delabrer, a police spokeswoman. "I don't think [the killings are] related," she said.
Some residents said they were afraid to leave their houses.
"I just had a daughter, and it's kind of scary for me even to come outside," said Tyffany Maynard, 18, who went to high school with three of the people killed recently.
Some said police should spend more time walking the beat rather than just driving through.
"I think it's crazy; this neighborhood should be on lockdown," said Karen Martin, 48, an executive secretary at the Washington Navy Yard.
In August, police found a female body along Greenleaf Road that has not been identified, Delabrer said. The next month, Wesley D. Scriber, 18, was fatally shot a block away. Police charged David T. Peaks Jr., 19, of Hyattsville with murder in that killing. In October, Loneil Smith, also 18, was killed on the street, and police arrested Dominic Woods, 21, of Bowie in connection with the death.
On Sunday, Korey Campbell, 17, was fatally shot along Goodland Drive, and two days later Hyshon M. McNair, 30, was found shot to death on Hawthorne Street, police said. No one has been arrested in either case.
Some Palmer Park residents said they had heard of an ongoing dispute between people in their neighborhood and others in Kentland, across Martin Luther King Jr. Highway. But police discounted that as a motive.
"There's a neighborhood rivalry, but not to the level of any homicides," said a law enforcement source who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigations are ongoing.