Marcus Antonio Jones (Prince George's County Police Department)
FORT WASHINGTON, Md. -
The family of a Fort Washington 16-year-old boy who was shot to death over the weekend is sick with grief.
Marcus Jones' grandfather, Phillip Beverly, says the teenager loved his family, enjoyed sports, and he can't imagine why anyone would want to kill him.
Jones was gunned down as he left a party Saturday around midnight on Webster Lane.
His grandfather says it's like deja vu because his own son, Phillip Jr., was shot and killed in 2004 when he was present during a robbery that went bad.
Jones' 12-year-old brother is wearing a sweatshirt with a picture of his brother on the back. It says, "I will always love you, brother."
It isn't just the family feeling the pain of the murder. Tensions ran high at Friendly High School, the school Jones attended. Two fights broke out and police were summoned. Three fighting students were arrested and charged with assault.
Grief counselors were also on hand at Friendly High School. Police plan to step up security at the school the rest of the week. They are also holding a community meeting at the school at 7 p.m. on Wednesday to address questions about the murder investigation.
Police don't have a motive in the case. They say Jones was a good kid. A reward of up to $25,000 is being offered for information leading to an arrest.
Letter To Friendly High School Parents:
Dear Friendly High School Parents and Guardians:
It is with sadness that I inform you of the death of one of Marcus Jones, a FHS student. For those of you who knew Marcus, we ask that you remember and celebrate his charismatic personality and energy. For those of you who did not know Marcus, we ask that you respect our sadness and support us with your understanding. Details about the funeral will be announced when they are known.
This morning, a team of school psychologists and counselors were on hand to provide grief counseling and support to our students who needed assistance. Counseling will continue to be available as long as necessary. As a precaution, school security and the Prince George's County Police Department will provide additional coverage as authorities investigate this matter.
It is very difficult for all of us to face the death of a student. You may find that your child will have additional questions and worries about this incident. Please feel free to contact me or the professional school counselor if you have any issues you would like to discuss. Some suggestions for coping with grief include:
Speak to your child regarding the crisis and provide them with accurate information regarding the crisis in language that she or he can understand. It is important to listen carefully to your child and show them that you understand what they are feeling or thinking.
Give additional affection in the form of hugs and other physical contact.
Spend additional individualized time with your child. Try to structure your time with them by playing games, having discussions and going places. Focus your attention on your child.
Encourage your child to share their feelings by writing a card or letter, or drawing a picture.
Ask your child how they are coping even though children often respond, "I am fine." The fact that you ask will most likely be important to your child, even though they may not share or show their feelings at this time.
We thank you for your continued support as we cope with Marcus' death.