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Child seriously injured, 2 adults wounded during 4th of July celebration in Prince George’s Co.

A young child was shot and critically injured and two adults were also wounded after gunfire broke out during a Fourth of July celebration in Prince George’s County, Maryland, police said.

The shooting happened Thursday just before 8 p.m. in the 4500 block of Akron Street in Marlow Heights.

Police said they don’t know whether the people who shot the child and the two adults were part of the celebation. No suspects have been identified.

“Our citizens were out enjoying themselves for the Fourth of July, having, you know, parties and get-togethers with families in front of the house,” Aziz said. “And at such time, at least two individuals we believe started 鈥 shooting weapons in the direction of another person.”

Preliminarily, police believe those two people were firing in a single direction when two adults and the young boy were struck.

Aziz did not specify the age of the child, but said, “One of our youngest citizens is in critical condition right now due to the recklessness of gunfire, of carrying weapons here, and using them in a neighborhood, on a beautiful day of celebration, severely injuring a young citizen.”

County Executive Angela Alsobrooks called what happened “unconscionable.”

“Tonight, at a time where the rest of the country is celebrating freedom 鈥 the people in this community were here tonight celebrating with each other, having a barbecue, doing exactly what they should be able to do, and what they have a right to do in their community 鈥 when someone brought a gun to the occasion,” Alsobrooks said.

Despite fireworks continuing to go off Thursday evening, Aziz said there were “absolutely no delays” to police response caused by ongoing displays.

“Of course, with all of the gunshots, it was very difficult when people are hearing gunshots, fireworks, and then they realize that those are not fireworks: it is actually shooting, it is weaponry,” the police chief said.

Montgomery and Prince George’s counties are among Maryland jurisdictions that have enacted total fireworks bans, including for sparklers, except by licensed professionals putting on an authorized display.

Alsobrooks said that it’s unacceptable for families to experience violence when they come together for safe celebrations in their neighborhoods.

“Whether it be a child or an adult for any person to be in their community in a block party setting and to be unsafe only because someone brought a gun,” Alsobrooks said. “This is what we’re seeing 鈥 all of these disputes that would have ordinarily been resolved, maybe through a fist fight 鈥 a gun turns it deadly.”

An approximate location of the shooting is included in the map below.

WTOP’s Ana Golden contributed to this report.

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Ivy Lyons

Ivy Lyons is a digital journalist for WTOP.com. Since 2018, they have worked on Capitol Hill, at NBC 太子探花 in Washington, and with WJLA in Washington.

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