More than six months after a teenager was fatally stabbed downtown just hours after the Baltimore Ravens Super Bowl victory parade, police announced an arrest in the killing.
Nazir Williams, 16, was indicted in the murder of 15-year-old De'ontae Smith, who died after a Feb. 5 fight involving several juveniles outside a McDonald's at North Howard and West Fayette streets. Two other teens were wounded.
The charges brought a measure of closure to Smith's family, who had criticized the city for playing down his killing and had called out for witnesses, who they believed were not coming forward with information on the suspect.
"It's kind of a relief," said Chevita Bumbrey, Smith's mother. "But at the same time it's still sad, it's still a tragedy. Now comes the hard part of going through court and seeing the person."
Information on Williams was not available in court records Tuesday, and relatives could not be found for the juvenile. He faces an adult charge of murder, said a Baltimore police spokesman, Detective Jeremy Silbert.
On the morning of the Super Bowl celebration, Smith left his Southeast Baltimore home wearing his Patterson High School uniform before he changed clothes, ditched school and joined several of his friends among nearly 200,000 people downtown for the victory parade.
About 2 p.m., the teens ended up in an area that merchants said was unusually crowded with parade-goers when the fight broke out. Police released surveillance images that pictured the killer in a purple shirt and white hat — with his arm raised.
As the weeks passed, Bumbrey expressed frustration with Smith's friends and other teens present, who she thought might be withholding information from police.
"No one seems to know or have seen anything with so many people there," she told The Baltimore Sun in March. "They all say they were there, but they don't know anything."
Bumbrey and other relatives also blamed police and city officials for not publicizing the stabbing in the moments after it took place so more residents could be on the lookout for a suspect.
After the stabbing, police initially said there was no information linking Smith and the teens involved in the fight to the Super Bowl parade. Smith's family felt the city was trying to distance the city's proud celebration from the murder.
But a day later, police acknowledged that Smith was downtown for the parade. His school uniform had been found in his backpack, indicating to his mother he purposely skipped school to attend it, she said.
Bumbrey reflected Tuesday on the age of her son and the age of the suspect in custody — both teens.
"It needs to change," she said. "It's ridiculous. It needs to stop. If it keeps going at this rate, we won't have a next generation."
Silbert said Williams was arrested after a Baltimore City grand jury indictment, which was unsealed Tuesday.
Also Tuesday, police announced that they arrested 24-year-old Harrison Bright in last week's fatal shooting of Shawn Pooler in the 600 block of Tunbridge Road. He had no lawyer listed in court records for this case.
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