A high school student has been arrested in the killing of James Blue, an Amtrak conductor and the husband of a Baltimore Police lieutenant, city police said Wednesday.
Police connected 18-year-old Sahiou Kargbo, a student at Mergenthaler Vocational-Technical High School, to the Jan. 25 fatal shooting through witnesses and surveillance video from the neighborhood. Video from the school showed Kargbo leave the Northeast Baltimore high school just before they say he fatally shot Blue outside a rowhouse he was renovating, according to charging documents.
City schools officials confirmed that Kargbo is a student at the school.
Blue recently had purchased the home in the 1400 block of Walker Ave., and was in the process of fixing it up, family said. He was waiting outside in his car for a refrigerator to be delivered, and was talking on the phone with his son when he was killed.
Baltimore Police have not provided a motive in the killing. Deputy Commissioner Brian Nadeau, who oversees the Public Integrity Bureau where Blue’s wife is assigned, said previously that investigators did not believe Blue was targeted because of his wife’s work as a police officer.
Kargbo is facing armed robbery charges in Baltimore County for an incident Jan. 6 at a Parkville Wendy’s. County police wrote in charging documents in that case that Kargbo is a member of the “Harford & 28″ street gang and is known to carry a gun. At the time of Blue’s homicide, he had an open warrant in Baltimore City for discharging a firearm in November, county police said.
Police wrote in charging documents that Kargbo walked up to Blue’s car and started shooting the rear of the vehicle. Blue got out and Kargbo then stood over Blue and continued to fire upon him, according to the documents.
Police said Kargbo ran east, toward Loch Raven Boulevard.
Video footage from the area shows the suspect, later identified as Kargbo, dressed in khaki pants, a white shirt and black jacket get out of a white Hyundai Tucson and walk toward Walker Avenue before the shooting, and “several minutes later” run back to the vehicle, the document said.
A day before the killing, a Drug Enforcement Administration agent was doing surveillance in the 6200 block of Loch Raven Blvd. The agent later told city police that three men were seen placing three large bags into the trunk of the white Tucson, and were seen going in and out of a home on Walker Avenue. The agent thought the activity looked suspicious and took pictures of the vehicle, which police said is the same vehicle Kargbo was seen getting out of and back into the day of the homicide.
Officers from the Regional Auto Theft Task Force found the vehicle unoccupied the next day behind a home on Cliftmont Avenue in East Baltimore’s Belair-Edison neighborhood.
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Meanwhile, detectives learned from a witness that a man named “Shaq” had been loading stuff into the vehicle. The witness also identified the man “Shaq” in a photo array.
Video pulled by police from Mergenthaler showed Kargbo leaving school in clothes matching the description of the suspected shooter, according to documents.
In the Jan. 6 robbery, Baltimore County Police arrested Kargbo that day, charging him with armed robbery at a Wendy’s restaurant in Parkville, where he made off with $1,200.
County police identified Kargbo as the suspect in that case after detectives noticed he was picked up and dropped off by different vehicles, detectives wrote in charging documents.
Noting that neither vehicle was seen speeding to or from the restaurant, county police subpoenaed Uber and Lyft ride-sharing services, and received a response from Lyft, identifying a user named “Shaq K.” Lyft records show the same user had purchased rides to and from the Wendy’s at the same time that the robbery occurred. The user’s profile picture also showed a man wearing the same jacket as the suspect in the restaurant surveillance video.
Police said he was a former employee of the restaurant.
County officers executed a search warrant for Kargbo’s home in the 1500 block of Northwick Road, near Morgan State University, where they recovered two handguns. Police said one of the guns, a Glock, was identified as being used in the shooting of Blue.
A previous version of this article misstated the date of the Baltimore County robbery. It occurred Jan. 6. The Baltimore Sun regrets the error.