Special needs man shot to death after accidentally hitting car with basketball

Special needs man shot to death after accidentally hitting car with basketball
Image: WJLA video screen grab

While young people in the Greenvale Parkway neighborhood played basketball on a warm Wednesday evening, adults living nearby were shaking their heads over a homicide in their midst.

“They don’t understand,” says James Clark. “They’re taking away a life.”

Police say it was a basketball, brushing up against a car, that sparked off a fatal shooting there.

“I was sleeping when I heard a noise, like a plom plom,” Jose Echerrea recalls. “That’s the first one (shooting) I see. I don’t see the problem here. This area’s good, you know?”

Echerrea says he heard several gunshots, around 1:20 p.m. on Wednesday.

“A senseless homicide,” declared Prince George’s County Police Chief Hank Stawinski.

Investigators say a man in his early 20s, a special needs individual who lives at a nearby group home, was walking to a basketball court at the Woodlawn Recreation Center with three others, when their ball made contact with a man’s car.

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