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PJ Evans' mother, officials say community tips led police to 8-year-old's alleged killers

WJLA – Washington D.C. logo WJLA – Washington D.C. 9/16/2021 Brad Bell
PJ Evans' mother, officials say community tips led police to 8-year-old's alleged killers
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There is only one thing that matters to PJ Evans' mother now -- that people remember her son. Tiffany Evans said the arrest of the three men police say are responsible for her 8-year-old son's murder is another signal to her he won’t be forgotten. 

“My son’s favorite number was 21. They solved the case in 21 days and this is the year 2021," Evans said. "I don’t know what God is saying but 21 is an angel number. My son is speaking to us he going to live no doubt he going to live."

Tips from the community helped Prince George's County Police identify the suspects in the murder of Peyton John “PJ” Evans, who was gunned down last month while he was playing video games inside a Landover, Maryland apartment. He was not the target.

Brothers 21-year-old Desmond Nkwocha and 23-year-old Mark Nkwocha as well as 23-year-old George Shamman were arrested Wednesday. Police said the men drove up to the apartment complex in the 1700 block of Bridghseat Road and opened fire around 8:20 p.m. Police said they were trying to shoot someone whom they had a beef with, but one of the bullets struck PJ, killing him. 

All three of them have records. One of the brothers, Desmond, was twice arrested in 2020. Once in March for felony gun crime and reckless endangerment and got out. In June, he was again arrested for a similar charge after firing from a vehicle. His cases have not yet been prosecuted by the state’s attorney’s office. 

 7News' Maryland Bureau Chief asked Chief Malik Aziz what his thoughts were on that. 

Aziz said he does what he can to "bring justice for many families," but that there's another part of the criminal justice system that has to make sure people are held accountable when they commit crimes.

In a statement, Prince George's County State’s Attorney Aisha N. Braveboy said, “I am pleased that Desmond Nkwocha, Mark Nkwocha and George Shamman are now in custody. As it pertains to Desmond Nkwocha – in the two pending cases against him, the State requested that he be held without bond during two separate bail reviews. In both cases against the State’s position, he was released by the court on a monetary bond. However, we intend to fully prosecute both cases on the pending trial dates.”

County detectives worked tirelessly since Aug. 24 to find PJ's killers, but Chief Aziz said the community was a huge asset. They presented PJ's mom, Tiffany, with the handcuffs used to arrest the men allegedly responsible for her son's death. 

"Witnesses were instrumental in helping to provide good leads," Aziz said. 

a person posing for the camera © Provided by WJLA – Washington D.C.

Tiffany Evans also thanked the community for helping police find those allegedly responsible for her son's death.

"I can't thank the officers and the community enough -- just all the love -- like, I can't thank you all enough," Tiffany said.

RELATED | 3 men charged in fatal shooting of 8-year-old Maryland boy PJ Evans

a man wearing glasses © Provided by WJLA – Washington D.C.

When asked if the arrests help, Tiffany said, "most definitely helps. It helps. It lets us know that we have three less criminals on the street; three steps closer to just getting justice."

She hopes what happened to PJ begins to open eyes in the community to exactly what happens when triggers are pulled. She says, “We got to start somewhere and this situation has opened a lot of people’s eyes so we got to start now. To every parent who has a child help your babies every day and tell them you love them.”

"Every kid in this area has got me forever, whatever they need," Tiffany said.

© Provided by WJLA – Washington D.C.

MORE | PJ Evans, boy killed in Maryland shooting, remembered as great kid with 'bright future'

"Without the help of witnesses, the community, the family who gave us valuable information and intelligence to piece together a lot of information," Aziz said. 

Police are still looking into whether the weapons used in the shooting were illegal and how or if they were purchased. 

When asked what she might say to those going down the wrong path, Tiffany Evans says, they need to turn to religion to God.

"Keep God first or whatever you believe in, you know, You keep that person first in your life and He will lead you wherever you need to go in life," she said. 

Caption: PJEvansMom

"Don't be a follower. There's a lot of followers out here, a lot of coward followers out here. Have your own mindset. Stand in your own lane. You know, I'm saying educate yourself, get back to the community and while you're serving the community, help the next man," she continued. "Don't be selfish. Just love yourself, you can't love nobody if you don't love yourself first."

She said the officers working on this case are a part of her family now. 


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