6-year-old shot in Maryland on July 4 has died, police say

A 6-year-old boy who was shot during a Fourth of July celebration in Temple Hills, Maryland, has died, police said Sunday.

The shooting happened around 7:40 p.m. during an annual block party filled with inflatables and party paint, a witness said. Police arrived at the 4500 block of Akron Street and found Ahsan Payton critically injured. He was rushed to the hospital for treatment but died late Saturday night, authorities said.

According to police, two adults were also injured in the shooting, but their lives are not in danger.

No arrests have yet been made in this case.

Shanita Geathers, 40, said she was standing on her porch that night when people started running and screaming. As others fled, she ran toward the gunfire looking for her children.

Unbeknownst to Geathers, her children had been safely hidden in neighboring homes. But as she desperately searched for her children, she found a young boy lying in a driveway, shot.

“As I’m trying to gather the kids, you’re praying that you don’t see people on the ground,” Geathers said in an interview the day after the shooting. “That prayer just wasn’t answered this time.”

Longtime residents of Akron Street said the neighborhood has hosted Independence Day festivities for the past five years, and violence has never been this high. Some neighbors host a free party with games and a barbecue, which residents say attracts outsiders.

Police previously said at least two people shot at another person during the incident. The Prince George’s County Police Department is offering a reward of up to $25,000 for information leading to an arrest and indictment.

“Let me be clear: All individuals involved in this shooting will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law,” Prince George’s County District Attorney Aisha Braveboy (D) said in a statement after the shooting. “We will pursue every avenue possible to ensure that those responsible for this violence face the consequences of their actions.”

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