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Mystery Gunshot Stakeout Nets Handgun Arrest

Police recover gun after arresting two men near site of previous reports of shots fired into the air.

Detectives with the have arrested two men in connection with a series of "shots fired" incidents which have plagued residents in the area of 40th Avenue and Nicholson Streets over the last few months. 

The arrests occurred early Tuesday morning. According to an announcement released by the Hyattsville City Police Department, detectives surveilling the area at around 2 a.m. saw two men walking towards 40th Avenue. When they approached, the men ran off. The detectives gave chase on foot and caught the suspects shortly afterwards. 

According to a narrative written by Hyattsville Chief of Police Doug Holland and provided by Sgt. Chris Purvis, public information officer for the Hyattsville Police Department, one of the men attempted to ditch a backpack in a backyard as he tried to elude police. 

After the suspects were taken into custody, police discovered a Ruger P89 9mm pistol in the discarded bag. 

One of the suspects, Washington, D.C. resident Christian Robles was charged with possession of a handgun, according to online court records. 

During interrogation, Robles waived his rights and confessed that he was carrying a gun. 

Over the weekend, multiple residents reported hearing gunshots in the early morning hours last Wednesday and last night around 10 p.m. 

Since March 11, the Hyattsville City Police have responded to 13 reports of shots fired in the 5800 block of 40th Avenue, according to police.

Following an incident in May,  

In that incident, Purvis said that police reviewed home security video footage which showed a group of subjects firing what appeared to be a rifle into the air. 

It may still be too early to tell if the man arrested last night is responsible for the other reported shots fired. 

"The camera was so far away that it was hard to tell if that's the guy we locked up," said Purvis.

In an email, Holland detailed the scope of the investigation into the rash of shootings. 

"The department has been taking a multi pronged approach to include extra visible patrols in the area; parking an unmanned, marked police vehicle in the area as a deterrent; “knock & talks” where officers and detectives knocked on doors and talked to residents in the immediate area to gather information, and surveillance activities," wrote Holland, responding to questions from a concerned resident sent hours before detectives arrested Robles. 

Police continue to ask for the public's vigilance. 

"We cannot do this by ourselves," said Purvis in an interview. "We rely on almost every one of our clients for public help and support...otherwise we wouldn't be able to get it done."

Hyattsville police ask that you call 301-985-5050 if you hear gunshots or notice other suspicious activity within the city's borders.

Bea June 21, 2012 at 02:51 AM
Does anyone want to way in as to why people want to just pass through the neighborhood and fire off shots in the air at 2, 3, 4 in the morning and keep coming back week after week? Help me understand why?
Michael Theis June 21, 2012 at 03:27 PM
It's hard to speculate on that, other than to say that Robles is charged only with possession of a handgun. He has not been charged with anything related to firing off errant gunshots into the air.
Alonzo November 24, 2012 at 11:46 AM
Juvenile acts of violence. It's a form of marking your territory, like dogs near a tree. Kids with cheap hand guns. Gun Laws are too loose in MD.

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