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As Annapolis helps plan vigil for homicide victim, detectives close in on arrest

As Annapolis officials plan a vigil with a homicide victim’s family, the city’s police chief said the investigation into his targeted killing on Monday shows promise of an arrest soon.

Mayor Gavin Buckley said Thursday that the city is grieving the loss Deontrae Matthews, who police said was stabbed early Monday morning before he died at the hospital as a result of his injuries.

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The Annapolis resident was 34 years old and his death Monday capped off a violent weekend across Anne Arundel County.

“It wasn’t a random act of violence,” Police Chief Ed Jackson said in a telephone interview Thursday.

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He told The Capital that Matthews knew his killer and that the 34-year-old was able to provide some important information at the scene in the 1000 block of Baywind Drive, just down the street from an address in the Bywater Mutual Homes complex listed to him in online court records.

Officers found Matthews there conscious but suffering from at least one stab wound, Jackson said. But he had lost a lot of blood, Jackson said, and succumbed to his injuries after paramedics took him to Anne Arundel Medical Center.

The police chief said the investigation has been buoyed by credible information from the public and dogged detective work from his investigators.

“It looks hopeful that we’ll be able to get an arrest warrant soon based on the information that we have,” Jackson said. He added that detectives have “good leads and that’s due in large part to cooperation from the community.”

In the meantime, Buckley said the city has been working with Matthews’ family members to plan a public vigil to honor his life.

“Mr. Matthews did not deserve to have his life ended in this way,” Buckley said in a statement. “He was a man in the prime of his life and he was loved.”

Buckley said a vigil has been slated for 5 p.m. Sunday at Chambers Park. Members of the public are welcome, he said, to spread the love and support Matthews’ family needs.

The mayor ended his statement with a plea: “We implore our residents to work to solve problems peaceably.”

Jackson had another ask, too. He encouraged anybody with information about the Matthews’ death to come forward with information. People who may know something can call detectives at 410-260-3439 or leave an anonymous tip by dialing 1-866-7LOCKUP to reach Metro Crime Stoppers, where information that leads to an arrest could yield a cash reward of up to $2,000.

“You can never have too much information,” he said.

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