Two people were killed in a shooting at the Gateway Village senior living facility in Capitol Heights, Maryland on Friday. The suspect is currently in custody, according to police.
Officers were called to the Gateway Village National Church Residence at 9:05 a.m., Prince George’s County officers reported. They found the two victims, who were both employees at the senior living facility, and then apprehended the suspect.
The identify of the shooter has yet to be revealed by police, as well as the names of the two employees who were killed. No one else was reported to be harmed in the shooting.
Capitol Heights Elementary School, which is nearby the senior home, was put on lockdown “out of an abundance of caution,” authorities said. The lockdown ended at around 11 a.m.
Those who could walk were slowly escorted out, while seniors in wheelchairs were told to remain in their rooms, said Prince George’s County police spokesperson Julie Wright.
Authorities have not released a motive as to why the gunman open fire in the senior home. Anyone with information about what happened at the Gateway Village senior living facility shooting has been advised to contact Prince George County’s police office.
“We are extremely heartbroken by the events that occurred this morning at our affordable housing property Gateway Village, in Capitol Heights, Maryland,” National Church Residences said in their official statement. “We are proud of the heroic and swift actions of our staff to ensure that our residents were protected and kept safe.”
“Our hearts go out to the families of our two team members who lost their lives in this tragic and unfortunate incident,” the statement read.
A resident of the Gateway Village senior living facility told NBC News that he heard the fire alarm go off and then saw “an armed neighbor” lying on the ground.
“He came upstairs to his place,” the unnamed resident said, “When I looked out about the fire alarm, he had come out the house, laid prostrate on the floor, arms stretched out, and [had] a weapon pushed six feet in front of him.”
Though unverified, the resident’s claims seem to suggest that the shooter was another senior living at the facility.
“I looked and I saw his hand go up and he shot twice,” an unnamed visitor told ABC News at the time. “We heard a ‘pow’ and I just ran.”
“I’m nervous now ’cause my mother-in-law is still in the building on lockdown,” she said.
Prince George’s County has been a hotbed for shootings in Maryland, with ABC News reporting that the two victims of the Gateway Village senior living facility bring the homicide count above 100 for the year.
The county announced in September that it would be introducing “a slate of gun prevention measures” to curb gun violence in the state. Local WTOP News reported “69 fatal shootings through July of this year,” which has since exceeded 100 deaths.
“The Prince George’s County Police Department has established a Gun Intelligence Unit in an effort to reallocate resources to focus on all gun offenses, arrests, tracking, and judicial cases,” the department said in a statement. “The Gun Intelligence Unit will gather information on arrests to ensure our partners in the judicial system have the necessary documentation to prosecute gun offenders, with the ultimate goal of keeping those who are committing gun-related crimes off the streets.”
Back in June, President Joe Biden attempted to curb gun violence with his “no tolerance policy,” designed to crack down more heavily on gun sellers who violate the federal laws. Signing a series of executive orders, his actions have yet to bear any fruit, as deadly shootings in 2021 are up by 55% according to the Gun Violence Archive.
Prince George’s County plans to set up increased youth programming, mental health and addiction services, behavioral health facilities, faith-based community organizations, and gun turn-in programs.