Baltimore police name suspect in killing of state lawmaker's grandson

Baltimore police on Friday named a 19-year-old suspect in the killing last month of Tyrone Ray, the 22-year-old grandson of Maryland House Majority Whip Talmadge Branch.

They asked for the public’s help in locating him.

Police said Raekwon Thornton, of the 3600 block of Elmley Ave. in Belair-Edison in Northeast Baltimore, is wanted in the midday fatal shooting of Ray in the 4200 block of Nicholas Ave., also in Belair-Edison, over Labor Day Weekend.

Thornton did not have an attorney listed in online court records on Friday.

Police had previously released video surveillance footage of two suspects walking in the area of the shooting after it occurred. They said Ray had been talking with two people before the shooting.

Branch, who has represented Baltimore in the General Assembly for 22 years, has previously described Ray as a “normal, average kid” who lived with his mother.

The announcement of the arrest warrant for Thornton on Friday came after a quadruple shooting in Belair-Edison on Thursday night, in which a 16-year-old boy and three men were wounded.

Police would not say whether there was any connection between the cases, but said they are always looking for such links.

Thornton has a criminal record. He pleaded guilty to a handgun charge in November, and was given an 18-month prison term, minus time served since his incarceration earlier in the summer.

Thornton was arrested in that case by four of the eight Baltimore police officers who were subsequently federally indicted earlier this year on racketeering charges, in which federal prosecutors allege they robbed citizens and filed false court paperwork. City prosecutors have dropped dozens of past cases that relied on the testimony of the officers, and are reviewing hundreds more.

Tyler Mann, Thornton’s attorney in the gun case, said he had flagged it as needing to be revisited because it “was based solely on the testimony of those cops,” but wasn’t sure what happened with it.

According to corrections officials, Thornton served his entire sentence. He was transferred to home detention in the case in May, and his sentence expired on Aug. 11.

Ray was killed Sept. 4.

Mann said he had not been in contact with Thornton recently and declined to comment on the charges related to Ray’s killing.

Anyone with information about Thornton is asked to call 911 or detectives at 410-396-2100, or text tips to 443-902-4824.

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