CRIME

5-year-old shoots 4-year-old on Hillcrest Heights playground

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The mother of the 5-year-old boy who shot his 4-year-old friend says that her son thought it was a cap gun.

“My son found a gun on the playground, he thought it was a cap gun. He shot the gun off and it hit his little friend,” Demeque Johnson, the mother of the shooter said.

Johnson is adamant the gun did not come from her home and her son thought is was only a toy. “He just keep thinking it's a cap gun, he just keep saying it's a cap gun. He don't know no difference,” she said. She said she just wanted to be left alone.

However, a woman who is close to the shooting victim claims the gun came from a nearby apartment.

The 5-year-old boy shot a 4-year-old boy in a playground in Temple Hills Thursday. A day later, police and parents are still trying to figure out how the child got a hold of the firearm while the young victim recovers from his injury.

The 4-year-old was hit in the back, the bullet exited his side. Family friends say he's expected to make a full recovery. Ebony Webb calls him her nephew. She says he didn't even know what had hit him.

“He didn't know what was going on so he tried to be just calm, cause we wasn't calm,” Webb said. Webb said she heard shots and rushed the wounded boy up to her apartment.

"He shot him real close so I took him upstairs... took metal pieces out of the wound," she said.

Webb says when she laid the wounded boy on her bed, he was in a state of shock. She says too many children are outside unsupervised.

Webb says she isn’t sure where the gun came from, but she doesn't believe the boy found it outside.

“It’s no way, because the clean-up lady comes to clean the playground every day. For her to be … cleaning up and not see a gun. There’s no gun on that playground,” Webb said.

Police say the 5-year-old boy ran off into his apartment, with the gun in hand.

"He had a hole the size of a quarter," Sheila Washington said of the 4-year-old's wound. Washington's son was at the playground during the shooting. She said the 5-year-old boy who allegedly shot the other boy was shaking as he was being taken away by police.

"(When) little children that age get a hold of a gun, it's a tragedy on both ends," Denise Willis, a neighbor, said.

Both boys live in the neighborhood. Neighbors say children in the area always play at the playground. The boy shot a 4-year-old boy in the back at about 3:45 p.m. at a Hillcrest Heights playground in the 4400 block of 23rd Parkway.

The 4-year-old is said to be doing well in an area hospital.

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