NATIONAL NEWS

5 leaving cemetery after funeral wounded by gunfire from another vehicle, Maryland police say

Jul 14, 2023, 11:42 AM | Updated: 2:26 pm

BLADENSBURG, Md. (AP) — Five people leaving a cemetery after a funeral were shot and wounded Friday by someone firing into their car from a second vehicle in a Maryland suburb of the nation’s capital, police said.

No arrests were immediately made, and the five victims were all taken to area hospitals as authorities pleaded for the help of passing motorists in identifying suspects from the brazen daylight attack in busy traffic.

The shooting site is near a bridge that crosses the Anacostia River in Bladensburg, about a mile (.6 kilometer) east of the Maryland border with Washington, D.C.

Bladensburg Police Chief Tyrone Collington Sr. said at an afternoon news conference that he did not know the conditions of the wounded. He said none of those in the targeted car had fired any shots.

“There was not an exchange (of gunfire) between the two vehicles. It was one vehicle that was shot at and struck multiple victims within that vehicle,” Collington said.

“At this time, I can’t confirm that it was road rage or not,” he said. “We are still working through it.”

Detectives haven’t determined a motive, and Collington said police where checking for surveillance video and other evidence while searching for anyone involved in the shooting, which happened just before 12:30 p.m.

“What I do want to say is that this is uncommon in our community,” Collington said. “This was an unnecessary, senseless act of violence. As a result, multiple people were injured.”

Collington said detectives are working to identify a suspect or suspects. He said police do not know if more than one person fired shots. He said all they know now is that a dark-colored vehicle was involved.

He urged witnesses to contact police.

Officials with the neighboring Edmonston Police Department were assisting with the investigation and said the shooting was an isolated incident and didn’t pose an ongoing threat to public safety.

Bladensburg, a town of about 9,400 people, is home to a World War I memorial known as the Peace Cross situated on a median near the bridge. In 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in connection with a lawsuit that the 40-foot (12-meter) cross on public land didn’t violate the Constitution’s prohibition on the government favoring one religion over others.

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5 leaving cemetery after funeral wounded by gunfire from another vehicle, Maryland police say