COLLEGE PARK, Md. (WJZ) — The search is on for the person who shot and killed a University of Maryland student. It happened just feet from the College Park campus in Prince George’s County. Police are pointing to drugs.
Kelly McPherson has the latest.
Inside a rental house near the College Park campus, Justin DeSha-Overcash, 22, was shot to death. Police are still looking for a suspect. The victim’s friends are outraged with the start of the investigation.
When police searched the house where he was shot, they found a large amount of marijuana, a scale and wrapping papers, indicating to them that someone was selling drugs out of this house.
“His chosen lifestyle more likely than not contributed to this homicide,” said a police official.
Friends like David Snyder say that’s unfair. Snyder lived in the off-campus house with DeSha-Overcash two years ago.
“I guess people labeled the house as a place where there might be drugs or there might be money or something like that. It’s not to say that they are a drug kingpin living in that house. It’s college. People are going to have pot here and there in their houses,” Snyder said.
On Facebook, friends are disgusted with the drug connection, pointing out his double major and multiple jobs, including at the campus observatory.
“He worked his butt off to get a number of scholarships to help pay for his tuition. These are not things that a drug dealer does,” said one friend.
His mother posts, “We are challenging P.G. County Police because they are not going to kill our son twice. Please support Justin’s memory.”
And his father writes, “Whatever is being written about my son on the web makes me angry. He may had been doing things I was unaware of but one thing is certain: he was a kid that cared deeply about all of you.”
“It’s really unjust what police and the media are characterizing Justin as a drug dealer first and student second when that’s hardly the case. He’s one of the hardest working students I’ve ever known,” Snyder said, adding that DeSha-Overcash did not sell pot.
Seven people rented the house. Police are not saying where in the house they found the drugs and paraphernalia.
Prince George’s County is offering a reward for information in the case.