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.

Comments (8)
  1. anonymous says:

    its Overcash not Overcatch

  2. GCF says:

    Pretty sad that the police would drag the young man’s name through the mud like this before they have all the facts,or even a motive for that matter. I feel for his parents. I can assure you of one thing though,if this kid had been black, and the police made these same comments,everyone would be paying the price. It would be spotlight time for all the multtiple letter crybaby organizations.

  3. multiple letter crybaby organization says:

    if it quaks like a duck, looks like a duck, guest what it’s a duck.

  4. Let's be real says:

    Let’s be real here. Whether or not he was “dealing” marijuana. Marijuana is a joke. If they found considerable amounts of narcotics or pharmaceuticals that would be worthy of suspecting this to be drug related. Anyone can tell you that “dealing” marijuana is not very profitable. This kid was targeted because he was an off-campus college student. College students are targets because they are seen as having wealth. His chosen “lifestyle” is not one associated with crime, but rather college students nationwide. Marijuana is part of mainstream college culture, and to be honest, mainstream American culture. We need to stop this bs of lumping marijuana in with hard drugs and a life of crime.

  5. DJL says:

    Let’s be real… that’s probably the motive for the shooting. Despite whether you think pot is a serious drug or not doesn’t take away from the fact that this horrific crime more likely than not was the result of the pot in the house. As for the police dragging his name through the mud, I”m sorry it happened but if there is marijuana, packaging materials and scales in the house, guess what??? That’s an obvious sign that someone is selling drugs!!! And that is probably the motive for this kid getting shot. If people want the investigation to end in an arrest, stop defending a drug dealer that got shot, stop criticizing the police and let them find the person(s) that killed this kid

    1. TD says:

      So you know for a fact that in a house of 7 men that Justin was the one who was dealing drugs? The police have not said where the drugs were specifically found. So unless you were there or you lived in the house and you were the one selling drugs, then you don’t know. I am able to admit that drugs being in the house could have possibly led to the murder. However I will not claim to know that it was “a drug dealer getting shot” when there is no way I could possibly know that. I am also able to admit, even though I am his cousin, that I do not know all that Justin was involved in. If he did something illegal then it was wrong. However it does not mean that he deserved to get shot and that the public should feel better that a drug dealer is no longer on the streets.

      I will continue to criticize the police as long as they continue to label Justin a drug dealer without any further proof or evidence. THEY are wrong. The point should be to find the murderer. It should not be to label someone.

  6. The Game is the game says:

    Marijuana is a drug that is part of the overall culture of in America. Since it is not legal in many jurisdictions and not federally legal at all, it is distributed by a black market, black markets are often violent places to operate in. This is a sad story and I hope whoever is responsible for the murder is incarcerated for life.

  7. A. Wong says:

    Your missing the point completely. In some of the later reports the police alluded to saying what they said to calm the public (and thus dragged this poor kid’s name through the mud to accomplish that). At the time 11 people died in the first 11 days of the year. While the police of posturing, people are dying in P.G. County and the culprits are getting away with it. Perhaps they should spend less time throwing blame and more time getting murders and thieves off our streets!