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Late Night Gunshots Unnerve Residents

Hyattsville police are investigating a series of incidents in which gunshots rang out in the late night and early morning hours in central Hyattsville.


The is investigating a series of incidents dating back to April 8 in which gunshots rang out in the late night and early morning hours in central Hyattsville. 

The latest incident occurred around 2:25 a.m. on May 12. 

During that incident Councilor Shani Warner (Ward 2), was one of several residents jarred out of her sleep after hearing a series of gunshots in quick succession, according to messages posted to the listserv for the Hyattsville Organization for a Positive Environment. 

According to Sgt. Chris Purvis, public information officer with the Hyattsville City Police Department, the police are now conducting directed patrols in the area to alert residents and, if possible, identify the individuals responsible for the incidents. 

Purvis said that police have spoken to at least one witness following the latest incident who described a group of six juvenile males using a small caliber rifle to fire shots into the air in the vicinity of 40th Avenue and Madison Street.

According to Purvis, there have been at least five reported incidents of gunshots ringing out in the night in that area. The incidents occurred in the late night and early morning hours of Sunday, April 8, , Friday, May 4 and Saturday, May 12. All the incidents have occurred between midnight and 5 a.m. So far, the incidents have not resulted in any known injuries or property damage.

Purvis urged the public to call the city police department, not 911, to report the incidents. 

"Calling 911 just puts a delay in our response time, because then they have to call us before we know about it," said Purvis in an interview. 

The city police department number is 301-985-5050. 

Purvis also warned residents not to confront individuals firing guns into the air. 

"It's kind of human nature to look out and see what's going on," said Purvis. "Please be on the lookout for suspicious behavior and call us."

susie May 15, 2012 at 01:38 PM
If calling 911 delays Hyattsville police response then we have a problem. The point of 911 is an easy-to-remember number that we use for police and fire emergencies. I'm glad we were told about the delay problem and given a solution but it seems to me that the city and county need to resolve this problem immediately.
Molly Parrish May 15, 2012 at 08:03 PM
I'm glad you are on this story and I will be awaiting any follow-up with HPD. It may seem a minor incident (I don't know which laws were broken) but it has affected many residents and we would like to know the outcome of the investigation. Keep up the good work. Molly Parrish
Alonzo November 24, 2012 at 11:34 AM
Keep an eye on the Queens chapel road & Russell ave areas, near the Bank; a bunch of fake tough guys roam that area.

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