18-year-old Marckel Ross, a junior at Central High School, was shot and killed Tuesday morning as he walked to school.
His older brother tried to find the right words.
"I'd rather it had been me than him" was all Ubie Ross could come up with as he fought back tears.
But their mother, Elizabeth, had a lot to say.
"I'm going to miss his smile, going to miss him dancing because he likes to perform for the family even if you're not willing to look at him," she says. "He was a good son. He was a good child."
His mother says he was talented, energetic and sweet. He made the honor roll each quarter last year and was talking about going to college or into the reserves.
Ross' mother said he had been bullied last year, but things had gotten better.
"Marckel didn't bother anybody. Since he's been going to Central High School, it's always been a problem and I always felt that was too far for him to be walking," she says.
She is not sure if there's a connection to the fatal shooting and says it's possible he was the victim of a robbery.
A little before 7 a.m., the 911 calls started rolling in. The call: "Man
down." Not a man really, but a boy still holding his textbooks.
Officers responded to the 6100 block of Old Central Avenue. They found Ross unresponsive and suffering from an apparent gunshot wound.
As police cadets conducted a grid search at the crime scene, a mile away from Central High School, people at the school were taking the news hard.
Students were crying. Friends describe him as "a nice person" who never bothered anybody.
Dadrian Fletcher had just seen him just yesterday.
"I gave him a hug, said ‘Hi.' Had a little bit of laughs and kept going. He kept us laughing and smiling," she says.
Principal Charoscar Coleman says: "I did know Marckel. He had a bright spirit. He not only was a strong student, but he also participated in our modeling team, so he was very popular amongst staff and students."
Investigators spent time today at the school and so did grief counselors. So far, police have released no motive and made no arrest.
Police are offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.
Anyone with information on his murder is asked to call the Prince George's County Police Department's Homicide Unit at (301) 772-4925. Callers wishing to remain anonymous may call CRIME SOLVERS at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477) or text "PGPD plus your message.
A statement released by the Prince George's Public Schools says, "The Prince George's County Public Schools (PGCPS) community is saddened beyond measure by the shooting death that claimed the life of Central High School 11th-grader Marckel Ross as he walked to school this morning. Counselors are being made available to students. We extend our deepest sympathies to this young mans family and friends, along with our fervent hope that those responsible for his death will soon be brought to justice."
Statement from District 7 Council Member Karen R. Toles and District 6 Council Member Derrick Leon Davis on the fatal shooting of Central High School Student in Capitol Heights:
"While the matter is currently under investigation by the Prince George's County Police Department, our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Marckel Norman Ross, the Central High School junior shot and killed this morning on his way to school in Capitol Heights.
"As Council members we remain committed to doing everything in our power to ensure the public safety of all of our citizens. We will continue to work in collaboration with law enforcement, the school system, and within our communities to protect our youth from crime and violence.
"We ask that anyone with information about this crime please contact the Prince George's County Police Department."