Baltimore Police on Friday announced seven arrests in recent homicides, including one of the two men sought in the killing of a woman at a Patterson Park-area corner store and a 16-year-old boy accused in a double homicide in November.
The arrests, announced by Police Commissioner Michael Harrison, come after the department closed 2019 with 348 murders and a 31% clearance rate, well below the national average and the department’s rates from previous years.
“We have made significant progress in terms of solving homicides and providing some measure of closure to grieving families,” Harrison said. “Just 10 days into 2020, our homicide detectives have already made seven arrests.”
One of two men wanted in the death of Carmen Rodriguez, 35, who was killed three days before Christmas during a robbery at the Kim Deli & Grocery on North Kenwood Avenue, turned himself in to police Thursday, Harrison said.
Officers charged Terrance Peterson, 29, in her death, a day after police released surveillance footage from inside and outside the store that showed a man enter and leave the store. He appeared to be followed by a second masked man who opened fire. Police would not say whether Peterson was the gunman but said he is charged with first-degree murder.
Peterson turned himself in after “all the media attention,” Harrison said. Police still are searching for a second suspect.
No attorney was listed for Peterson in court records.
Harrison also announced the arrest of 16-year-old Devon Bynum, who is charged with killing two people in November.
Police said Ayranna James, 22, and Courtney Richardson, 21, were fatally shot just before 3 a.m. Nov. 14 in the 1800 block of McHenry St. in the Southwest Baltimore’s Carrollton Ridge neighborhood. Charging documents for that case were not available Friday, but online court records show that Bynum was charged in a series of carjackings in the city and southwestern Baltimore County the same day.
Police sources said Friday that investigators believe the killings are connected to the carjacking spree.
Baltimore Police wrote in charging documents that Bynum and two other suspects carjacked a man just after 1:30 a.m. as he attempted to retrieve items from his car outside his Hollins Market home. The suspects held a gun to the victim, then took his Honda Accord and drove off.
At 5:15 a.m., police said, the group attempted to stop a Chrysler minivan, pointing a handgun at the driver, and attempted to take the van, but the driver managed to escape. Minutes later, police said, the same group approached another victim warming up their Chevrolet Monte Carlo, pointed a gun at the victim, and one of the suspects took the Monte Carlo as the other two fled in their vehicle.
About 20 minutes later, at Ryerson Circle in Lansdowne, two victims were warming up their cars when county police said the same group pointed a gun at them, demanding their cellphones, wallets and money.
At 7 a.m., police located the stolen Monte Carlo in the southern city neighborhood of Lakeland. Officers also saw a Honda Civic that had been reported stolen previously, and officers saw suspects walking toward both vehicles.
Officers began following the vehicles, prompting the suspects to flee. The driver of the Honda struck a police cruiser, and two of the suspects eventually were apprehended. Other officers continued to follow the Monte Carlo, believed driven by Bynum. At North Avenue and Dukeland Street, county police said, Bynum struck another vehicle and fled on foot.
County police wrote in the charging documents that, “based on the property recovered from the suspects, it was discovered the suspects were involved in at least four additional street robberies in Baltimore City.”
Public defenders listed for Bynum in the homicide case and county carjacking case could not be reached for comment Friday evening.
In addition to Bynum’s arrest, Harrison said, detectives have identified a 26-year-old man in North Carolina who will be extradited to Baltimore in relation to the Oct. 10 killing of Antonio Modica in the 1900 block of W. Pratt St.
Harrison said detectives also charged Reubin McFadden, 20, in the Dec. 3 killing of Marvin Mason, 31, in the 2400 block of W. Baltimore St. No attorney was listed for McFadden in online court records.
Harrison said detectives also recently charged Kadeem Booker, 29, in the Oct. 24 fatal shooting of Dana Brown, 25, in the 1800 block of Westwood Ave.
Charging documents said Booker and another man, Jerome Collier, killed Brown. Part of the shooting was captured on surveillance video, and witnesses identified Collier as the shooter, the documents said. Booker spoke to detectives, who showed him still photos taken from the surveillance footage and Booker identified himself in the photos to detectives, the charging documents said. He also admitted to his involvement in the killing, the charging document said.
Neither Booker nor Collier had an attorney listed in online court records.
Harrison also noted the recent arrest of 30-year-old Tyrell Barnes, who is charged with killing his mother, 59-year-old Constance Price-Barnes of the 800 block of Wilbert Ave.
Police were called Jan. 6 to a report of an assault at Price-Barnes home, where Barnes directed officers inside the home. Officers found Price-Barnes suffering from massive trauma to her head; she was taken to Johns Hopkins Hospital, where she was pronounced dead. Police said Barnes underwent a psychiatric evaluation, and was later arrested.
No attorney was list for Barnes in online court records.
Police also recently announced the arrest of 41-year-old Marvin Vaughn in a Jan. 2 homicide that occurred in the 3500 block of Chesterfield Ave. Officers were called for a report of a cutting at the home and found a 37-year-old woman and an 18-year-old man both suffering from stab wounds. They were taken to the hospital. Police said the woman, Theatra Bowman, died.
Vaughn also did not have an attorney listed.
“I want to thank all of the detectives and all the people who worked on these cases,” Harrison said. “They are the best in the business and the best in the country. Their commitment to our city is making a difference.”
The recent arrests, which included some for killings dating back to October, will count toward this year’s clearance rate.
“We are committed to making sure we reduce violent crime and hold people accountable," Harrison said.
The Baltimore Sun’s Justin Fenton contributed to this article.