3 Charged in Cold-Case Murder of Prince George’s Teen

Lydia Banks holds two high school graduation pictures of her daughter, Allyssa, during a Feb. 1 press conference outside the Prince George’s County Courthouse in Upper Marlboro, where authorities announced three men had been charged with Allyssa's fatal shooting in 2016. (William J. Ford/The Washington Informer)
Lydia Banks holds two high school graduation pictures of her daughter, Allyssa, during a Feb. 1 press conference outside the Prince George’s County Courthouse in Upper Marlboro, where authorities announced three men had been charged with Allyssa's fatal shooting in 2016. (William J. Ford/The Washington Informer)

More than a year after a Prince George’s County teen was murdered in Largo over a gang rivalry, three men were charged Thursday with her death.

Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks said at a press conference in Upper Marlboro that Allyssa Banks, 18, and her boyfriend, who was also shot but survived his injuries, were innocent bystanders.

“They were doing nothing at all except parking a vehicle when they were targeted and murdered in cold blood,” Alsobrooks said while standing alongside Banks’ mother, Lydia Banks.

According to court documents, Banks was helping her boyfriend parallel-park a car on Prince Place on Oct. 19, 2016, when the assailants approached the vehicle, shot them both and fled.

The three men charged — Thomas Demetrius Jenkins, 20, of Riverdale, Daniel Edward Butler, 23, of Bladensburg, and Josue David Vasques, 21, of New Carrollton — are part of the Riverdale Crew that sought retaliation against another gang labeled the Largo Crew, charging documents state.

Each will be charged with murder, attempted murder and other offenses. All three are being held in jail without bond, authorities said.

Alsobrooks said the investigation determined Vasques was the shooter.

According to court documents, Jenkins walked with Vasques toward Banks and her boyfriend and asked,” Where you from?” Vasques then fired multiple times at Banks and her boyfriend. Butler drove the getaway vehicle.

County police Chief Hank Stawinski said the case was challenging because Banks and her boyfriend “were completely innocent victims” and didn’t know the men.

He also had a message for anyone involved in criminal activities.

“My role here today is to tell our community we will not stop,” he said. “[Detective Cleo Savoy and fellow officers] are relentless. We’re going to get you.”

Banks graduated from Largo High School in 2016 and served as student body president. At the time of her death, she was attending Prince George’s Community College to pursue a career as an emergency medical technician.

Lydia Banks, holding two pictures of her daughter, thanked police and Alsobrooks’ office for solving “this heinous crime.”

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About William J. Ford – Washington Informer Staff Writer 512 Articles
I decided I wanted to become a better writer while attending Bowie State University and figured that writing for the school newspaper would help. I’m not sure how much it helped, but I enjoyed it so much I decided to keep on doing it, which I still thoroughly enjoy 20 years later. If I weren’t a journalist, I would coach youth basketball. Actually, I still play basketball, or at least try to play, once a week. My kryptonite is peanut butter. What makes me happy – seeing my son and two godchildren grow up. On the other hand, a bad call made by an official during a football or basketball game makes me throw up my hands and scream. Favorite foods include pancakes and scrambled eggs which I could eat 24-7. The strangest thing that’s ever happened to me, or more accurately the most painful, was when I was hit by a car on Lancaster Avenue in Philadelphia. If I had the power or money to change the world, I’d make sure everyone had three meals a day. And while I don’t have a motto or favorite quote, I continue to laugh which keeps me from driving myself crazy. You can reach me several ways: Twitter @jabariwill, Instagram will_iam.ford2281 or e-mail, wford@washingtoninformer.com

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