Suspect in killing of lawmaker's grandson in Baltimore arrested, police say

Baltimore Police have arrested a 19-year-old Baltimore man suspected in the September killing of Tyrone Ray, the 22-year-old grandson of Maryland House Majority Whip Talmadge Branch, they said Monday.

Raekwon Thornton, who police first named as their suspect in the case on Oct. 6 and who has been on the run since, was arrested on the Eastern Shore on Monday morning by city detectives and members of the U.S. Marshals Service, police said.

Ray was fatally shot in the 4200 block of Nicholas Ave., in the city’s Belair-Edison neighborhood over Labor Day Weekend. Thornton’s last known address is in the 3600 block of Elmley Ave., also in Belair-Edison.

Thornton’s attorney, Tyler Mann, could not immediately be reached for comment on Monday.

Thornton was previously arrested on a gun charge, for which he pleaded guilty and received an 18-month prison sentence beginning in July 2016. He was transferred to home detention in May, and his sentence ended Aug. 11.

Ray was killed Sept. 4.

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

Branch, who has represented Baltimore in the General Assembly for 22 years, said on Monday that Thornton’s arrest brought “some closure” to his family, but noted police have not identified the second suspect in the video.

“We still have another suspect that’s still out there,” Branch said.

Branch said there are many families in Baltimore who have lost loved ones in killings that remain unsolved, and he wants “closure for everyone who is in this situation,” not just for his family.

He said city police need more support and resources if that’s going to happen.

“We are, from my understanding, 500 police patrolmen short, which means we are also short on detectives,” Branch said, citing a staffing shortage also claimed by Police Commissioner Kevin Davis.

Branch said homicide detectives “have cases in the double digits,” which is more than they should have and limits the amount of attention they can provide to any one case.

Branch said he and his family are still struggling to cope with Ray’s killing.

“It is day to day,” he said. “You have to get used to not having that person with you, and every little thing is a reminder. You can’t even say the word ‘grandson’ and my mind not jump back to Tyrone.”

“You can never get over it,” Branch said. “You can only learn to live with it.”

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