An 18-year-old Suitland High School student was killed in Prince George's County, Md., Tuesday in the sixth fatal student shooting to rock the area in the last six months, local TV station WTOP reports.
According to ABC local affiliate WJLA, the Suitland freshman -- identified by sources as Aaron Kidd -- was shot Tuesday evening along with another 18-year-old man, who remains in serious condition.
Police believe the latest shooting is unrelated to the death of another Suitland freshman earlier this week. Charles Walker, 15, was gunned down and killed while walking to his girlfriend's house after school Monday, police reported. The killer is believed to have been after the boy's shoes.
In a statement about the most recent death, Prince George's County Public Schools spokesman Brian K. Coleman said,
We are horrified to learn that tragedy struck another one of our students within a 24-hour time-span. Our hearts are broken again and we extend our deepest sympathy and condolences to the family. We cannot go another day without addressing these unspeakable acts of violence against our students. We are asking for the community's support as our students, teachers and employees cope with these incidents.
As the Washington Post reports, the string of violent student shootings has spurred Prince George's County to start a task force to investigate the slayings.
At a press conference that took place on Tuesday, shortly before the sixth student's death was reported, Police Chief Mark Magaw said, “When five high school students are killed within the 2012-2013 school year, we all demand both justice and an accounting of the circumstances that give rise to juvenile violence."
Members of the special task force, which includes police and school officials, will also partner with interfaith and nonprofit groups in the county, Magaw said.
Amber Stanley, a 17-year-old at Charles H. Flowers High School was the first student killed during the 2012-2013 school year; she was shot in her bedroom in August. In September, 18-year-old Marckel Ross, a junior at Central High School, was shot on his morning walk to school; in December, 14-year-old Foundations student Eliezer Reyes was killed in a drive-by shooting; and in January, Marcus Jones, a 16-year-old student at Friendly High School, was shot after leaving a birthday party.
While the county launched an initiative to transform several neighborhoods in the area by identifying ways to improve services and residents' quality of life, Prince George's County Executive Rushern Bakeer told Fox 5 News that more needs to be done.
"Our young people need jobs, they need health insurance, they need focus on where they're going to go in their life," Bakeer said during a discussion of the most recent student shooting. "And that's what we have to provide to stop what's going on out there."