UPPER MARLBORO, Md. - It has been four years since Rashad Pinkney was shot and killed outside a house party in Prince George’s County. Police say the 19-year-old was walking to the party in Upper Marlboro when he was hit by random gunfire. It is a murder case that has delivered some intriguing clues over the years, but there has been no justice so far.
The gunfire came just after midnight on Dec, 21, 2013 when two different gunmen opened fire apparently at random – hitting houses, cars and Pinkney.
"It was chaos on that night,” said Prince George’s County Police Det. Bernie Nelson.
It was a party that was advertised on social media and had attracted more than 100 people to a foreclosed home on North Marlton Avenue.
"When you have shots fired and a large number of late teens and early 20s individuals, they are going to flee the scene and most of them have already left before we even arrived,” said Nelson. “It wasn't until about an hour later that they found Rashad Pinkney, a 19-year-old young man, further down the street about six houses away on the other side of the road.”
Only the gunmen know why they opened fire that night. The exact reason is still just a theory.
From pictures taken by the police, you can see the house had been trashed. It was not an attractive place to hang with friends. But the big man they called "Boogie" wanted to go.
Rebecca Hines, a longtime friend of Pinkney’s, said she wanted him to stay at her house that night. He had been away at Job Corps and she wanted to catch up with him. But she said she was not worried about him that night when he decided to go the party.
"His good friends called him and was like, “Hey Boogie, we’re going out tonight to this party in Upper Marlboro. Do you want to hang with us?’” said Pinkney’s mother, Jeanine. “And you know, those were his friends. He loved them and trusted them, so of course he wanted to go.”
On the night he was killed, Rashad and his friend had to park several blocks away from where the party was being held and were walking up North Marlton Avenue when they heard a series of gunshots coming from just outside the house. Seconds later, there was more gunfire from where Rashad and his friend were walking. The 19-year-old was hit once in the chest and then ran to a house where he collapsed on the stairs.”
"His friend overheard someone yell out, ‘I'm hit! Oh my God, I'm hit,’” said Det. Nelson. “Didn't know if it was Rashad or not, but saw Rashad running in a separate direction and lost track of him.”
After getting a call from Rashad's friend, his mother jumped in the car and headed to MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center. A doctor delivered the devastating news to her.
"That's when he went on to say Rashad came here with trauma to the upper body and we did everything we could do, but we couldn't save him,” she said. “I want to say within that time, that is when I think I passed out.”
Rashad is lovingly described by family and friends as a big man with a kind heart. He was someone who hated to see injustice, but wouldn't raise a hand against another. He was the only boy in a family of girls who got his diploma from Job Corps.
His family said the memorial service and funeral were a revelation.
"We were like where did these people come from? And they had so many good stories,” said La Porscha Jackson, Rashad’s sister-in-law. “One girl told us that the only reason she even stayed in Job Corps was because he made her. He was her reason for wanting to finish Job Corps. Another girl said that she was ready to commit suicide, and in that moment he was there for her. So the reason she could even attend the funeral and not be at her own was because of him.”
"I will always say, 'Wow, we birthed that spirit?’ Such an amazing guy,” said Rashad’s mother.
Prince George's County police have never disclosed until now that the gun used to kill Rashad was also used 82 days later in a shooting on Westdale Court in Waldorf. Another gun that was fired that night was used to kill Darnell Mayfield on Dec. 28, 2015. Another murder that is still listed as unsolved.
However, these leads have gone nowhere so far.
"There is still a lot we don't know and that is why we need people who were at this party, and if they see this story, they will know that they were at this party,” said Det. Nelson. “You don't have to give your name. You can remain anonymous, but share any information that you have about who was firing these weapons and why. Maybe just knowing why, we can find out who was involved.”
Four years later, Rashad Pinkney's murder has left some emotional wounds and scars.
"Yeah, I miss him,” said Hines. “He was a good friend. It’s so sad someone took him from us like that.”
One bullet. One murder. Countless broken hearts.
Anyone with information about this case is asked to call Prince George's County Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS.