BALTIMORE – Baltimore police have found a white Mercedes-Benz that was seen in the area, where a 7-year-old girl was fatally shot in an apparent drive-by shooting, but there are still no arrests in the attack more than two weeks ago, she was shot in the back.
Detectives working in the dead of the second corrector Taylor Hayes struggling to overcome a chronic problem: Baltimore is a strong anti-informant culture that makes eyewitnesses to murders and other crimes sometimes are too afraid or simply unwilling to come forward.
Acting Commissioner of Police, Gary Tuggle is a fervent appeal to the residents of the south-west of the Baltimore area where Taylor was shot to come forward with what they know. He calls to witness “a certain degree of sympathy.”
“We know that a number of people that saw the shooting. We know that for a fact. And we want you to come forward. There is a child who is no longer with us have a certain degree of sympathy with respect to that,” he said at the police headquarters. “That child needs justice and her family needs justice.”
Tuggle said he understands all too well that a number of Baltimore citizens are afraid to provide information to the researchers. But he urged the witnesses to have a heart.
“I get the problem of the anxiety. However, we’re not talking about something as simple as maybe a burglary or a robbery. We talk about the life of a 7-year-old child that is snuffed out,” Tuggle said.
Witness intimidation is a persistent problem in Baltimore, a notorious underground DVD called “Stop Snitching” that made international headlines in 2004. There is also a long-term deficit of the public’s trust in the police across large parts of the city, that’s only gotten worse with a recent corruption scandal.
Providing only the broad contours of the ongoing investigation into Taylor’s death, police spokesman T. J. Smith told reporters Friday that detectives know the identity of the owner of the Mercedes-Benz they are looking for.
But Smith refused to provide information about the way in which this has progressed with the research. He stressed that no charges have been filed in the killing, saying: “We are still trying to identify the murderer.”
Taylor, a bright-eyed child who loved music and dance, died of her injuries early Thursday. She was in critical condition in a hospital, since he was shot in the back in a Southwest Baltimore arena on 5 July. Another child sitting next to her in a Honda Accord, was uninjured.
Darnell Holmes, the woman behind the wheel of the car where Taylor was shot, is charged with possession of heroin, a digital scale and a loaded .40-caliber pistol with an extended magazine in her glove compartment. But Holmes has not been charged in the shooting.
The police said Holmes was the refusal to cooperate with detectives, but they refused to provide more clarity on Friday. Her lawyer, Staci Pipkin, said Holmes don’t know who fired at the car. The lawyer said Taylor was the daughter of Holmes’ cousin. The child unharmed is Holmes’ daughter.
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