The discovery of an illegal firearm during a recent robbery investigation led Howard County Police detectives to charge two teens with murder in a triple shooting in Columbia, according to Chief Gregory Der.
Der shared updates in several police investigations Tuesday afternoon during a news conference.
The arrests of the two Baltimore teens, an 18-year-old and a 17-year-old, in the Columbia killing came after police found a gun they believe was used in that shooting during a search in a separate investigation into a July robbery. Three teenagers and a 46-year-old Columbia man were arrested in the unrelated robbery and firearms investigation, Der said.
On Oct. 19, Howard police detectives served search warrants at multiple locations in Columbia in the July robbery case and found numerous illegal weapons, Der said. Police seized several guns, including privately made firearms, or PMFs, also known as “ghost guns,” in various stages of assembly, according to a police news release. Detectives determined that one of the firearms had been used in an Oct. 16 triple shooting in the 6000 block of Foreland Garth that resulted in the death of Dylan Migel Perez, 24, of Baltimore, and serious injuries to two other men, police said.
On Nov. 2, police arrested and charged Shamond Isiah Steward, 18, of Baltimore, and a 17-year-old who they did not identify, with first- and second-degree murder, first-degree assault and firearms charges related to Perez’s death.
Four people were charged in the robbery and illegal firearms cases. A 17-year-old was charged with robbery, assault, and illegal possession of multiple firearms; another 17-year-old was charged with robbery, assault, and possession of unregulated PMFs; a 16-year-old was charged with possession of PMFs; and Kevin Mobley, 46, was charged with illegal possession of multiple firearms. All of those charged live in Columbia.
“We are able to close cases like these often because of our specialized crime reduction team combining expertise in violent crime, robbery, firearms and property crimes and drugs,” Der said. “These detectives collaborate to address gun crimes and other connected criminal activity and suspects. As a result of these resources, cases like these can be linked and investigated as a shared effort to solve violent crime and arrest those that are responsible.”
County Executive Calvin Ball also spoke during the Tuesday news conference and said because of the collaboration with the county’s crime reduction team, police were able to make the connection between the cases and ensure that those who are engaged in these activities are held accountable.
“By combining our investigative expertise and our violent crime, robbery, firearms, property crimes and drug units, we are widening our scope and are able to look at these cases through that wider lens,” he said. “By collaborating on this investigation, our law enforcement agencies prevented potential future tragedies and closed more cases.”
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Howard County State’s Attorney Rich Gibson asked residents to collaborate with the police department and state’s attorney’s office to help keep the community safe.
“We don’t have a stop [snitching] mentality in this space, instead we have a community that has embraced the idea, if you see something, you should say something,” Gibson said. “It is through that spirit, that we are able to hold people accountable when they violate our law. A community that is actively invested in ensuring our mutual peace and order and safety.”
To report a gang tip or a gun, call 410-313-STOP (7867) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.