Maryland Officer's 17-Year-Old Son Shot To Death In Drug Deal Gone Bad
Charles County, MD – The 17-year-old son of a veteran Prince George’s County homicide detective was gunned down in his parents’ driveway on Tuesday night and detectives think the murder was drug-related.
The Charles County Sheriff’s Office Spokeswoman Diane Richardson said the shooting occurred just before 7 p.m. on Feb. 18 in the 3100-block of Warehouse Landing Road in the Bryans Road area, The Washington Post reported.
Richardson said sheriff’s deputies responded to the scene after they were called by neighbors who saw a car racing away from the dead end street a moment after they heard gunshots.
Bradley Alan Brown was found bleeding in the driveway in front of his parents’ home with gunshot wounds to his chest and leg, WRC reported.
He was pronounced dead at the scene, The Washington Post reported.
A 9mm Smith & Wesson semiautomatic handgun belonging to Brown’s father was found on the ground beside his son.
Investigators said that gun had not been fired, WUSA reported.
Police also recovered several 9mm shell casings at the scene, WRC reported.
Brown was an honor student in the criminal justice training program at North Point High School and was a member of the varsity track team.
His father is a veteran homicide detective with the Prince George’s County Police Department, and both of his older brothers are also police officers, according to WRC.
"He got along with everyone," North Point High School’s cross-country coach Jimmy Ball said.
On Wednesday, detectives arrested 17-year-old Darryl Edward Freeman in connection with Brown’s murder, WRC reported.
Freeman is a football player and honor roll student at Thomas Stone High School in Waldorf.
Police said Freeman fired seven shots at Brown during their altercation, WRC reported.
Freeman was booked into jail as an adult for first-degree murder, assault, and weapons charges.
WRC reported that detectives were able to use Brown’s phone found at the scene to track the murder back to Freeman.
Court documents showed that detectives discovered the police officer’s son had been advertising high-potency THC vape cartridges for sale on Snapchat.
Detectives found a conversation between Brown and a person named “Darryl” on the phone, WRC reported.
"Messages on his Snapchat account indicate that Brown was planning to meet with a person named 'Darryl' at Brown’s residence," the charging documents said, according to WUSA. "The purpose of the meeting is unknown. However, Brown has recently been selling THC vape cartridges and Darryl supposedly sells marijuana."
Documents showed that Brown messaged his address to Freeman at about 6:15 p.m. on Feb. 18.
Surveillance video from security cameras in the neighborhood showed a dark colored car with shiny wheels pulled up and stopped in front of Brown’s home about 25 minutes later, according to WRC.
Witnesses reported hearing gunfire about 10 minutes after that, and then surveillance video showed Freeman fled in his car toward Indian Head Highway.
Detectives said Freeman tried to block Brown on Snapchat and changed his user name after the murder, WRC reported.
But police were able to use his phone number saved in Brown’s phone to track his digital footprint back to a football recruitment video on Twitter.
When police arrested Freeman, they searched his phone and found searches about THC vape cartridges, WRC reported.
Detectives said the phone’s GPS data put the high school football player at the scene of the crime, and that his car also matched the suspect vehicle.
Court documents said that Brown and Freeman did not discuss the sale of THC cartridges over Snapchat, WRC reported.
Detectives searched Brown’s home and car but did not find any cartridges, nor did they find any on Freeman when he was taken into custody.
However, they did find Freeman's phone which contained messages he sent two days before the robbery asking where he could find "sweet licks," a term used to describe robberies, WUSA reported.
Prosecutors said Freeman purchased a 9mm handgun the same day he asked about "sweet licks."
Freeman was held without bond at his arraignment and is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on March 5, WUSA reported.
Prosecutors said a second suspect confessed to his role in Brown's shooting on Thursday night but police have no yet released his name.