FORT WASHINGTON, Md. - A woman and her 2-year-old daughter are dead after police said they were shot Tuesday morning in the parking lot of a residential neighborhood in Fort Washington. The shooting happened in the 1300 block of Palmer Road at around 7 a.m.
NeShanté Davis, a first-year teacher at Bradbury Heights Elementary School, and her 2-year-old daughter, Chloe, were killed in the incident. Police said they arrived at the scene to find Davis on the ground and her daughter in a car seat. They were both suffering from gunshot wounds.
Officers said the 26-year-old mother was pronounced dead at the scene. Chloe was rushed to a local hospital, where she later died.
"This is a profoundly sad day, and my prayers go out to the family of the victims of this crime that frankly shocks the conscious," said Prince George’s County Interim Police Chief Hank Stawinski during a press conference. "The notion that someone would be bold enough to take the life of a child, take the life of a young woman, and think there would not be consequences is simply unacceptable in Prince George's County."
"This is absolutely unacceptable, in any civilized community, that a child should be killed in this way," said Prince George's County State's Attorney Angela D. Alsobrooks.
She and Stawinski said investigators would work to find those responsible and bring them to justice.
Family members said Davis and her daughter lived in a townhouse with her uncle and aunt who had already left for work. Other younger family members still inside the house heard the commotion and rushed outside.
"It's devastating to see somebody would do something like that to anybody – not just them but anybody,” said Bishop Robert Pitts of the Community Temple Bibleway Church in Cheverly. “It doesn't make sense.”
Pitts said Davis was a member of his congregation and described her as a hardworking mother who took care of her family.
Family members said before Davis was shot, she was on her way to drop her daughter off at daycare before heading to work.
Police held onto the scene for hours as a K-9 team searched the grounds around the complex and investigators interviewed witnesses. By Tuesday afternoon, police loaded Davis’ car onto a rollback crane and took it away.
Prince Georges’s County Public Schools released a statement Tuesday on Davis' death:
"All of us at Prince George’s County Public Schools is deeply saddened by the loss of NeShante Davis and her young child. Crisis teams are available at the school for all of our students, staff and their families as long as they need it. The district will do all it can to support the school community at Bradbury Heights Elementary School. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of NeShante Davis."
The Prince George's County Educators' Association, of which Davis was a member, issued a statement following the shooting.
"This is a great tragedy. The violence in our community affects everyone our educators, our children, our families. PGCEA is devastated by this heinous act and will remain vigilant in educating residents and our students about the need to stop the violence in Prince George's County," said PGCEA President Theresa Mitchell Dudley.
Investigators have not released any information about a possible suspect.