Delaware police and prosecutors say community cooperation helped lead to arrests of two suspects in separate shootings that left two people dead and three others wounded.
Attorney General Beau Biden and Wilmington Police Chief Michael Szczerba Tuesday announced that indictments had been obtained against 17-year-old Daiquan Reams and 28-year-old Lee Turner.
Reams is charged with a May 19th shooting which killed Tamekia Kearney and injured two others at Kosciuszko Park in Hedgeville. Turner is accused of shooting 15-year-old Naj’m Hickmond to death June 17th in an alley off West Fourth Street. A 12-year-old boy who was also shot continues to recover.
“We believe that neither of these crimes was a random act of violence,” Biden said during a news conference at the park. “Fortunately in both cases ordinary residents of our community – especially here in Hedgeville – provided information to investigators that helped lead to the arrests.”
Reams had been in custody since May 29th when he was arrested for violating the terms of probation from an earlier arrest. He is charged with first-degree murder, two counts of attempted murder, and weapons offenses. Turner was arrested by Wilmington Police last week, and is charged with first-degree murder, attempted murder and weapons crimes.
“Much has been said in our community about the lack of cooperation. However, it’s the cooperation between the prosecutors, the police and the community members that can bring this senseless violence to an end,” Szczerba said. The chief expressed his department’s sympathy to the families of the shooting victims, and pledged to work with prosecutors to secure convictions.
Councilman at-large Michael Brown was pleased to learn that neighborhood cooperation helped bring about the arrests. “I really believe in my heart that this is a turn-around,” Brown said. “Even though we have ‘miles to go before we sleep’ as they say, this is a step.”
One day earlier, Brown was part of a City Council Public Safety Meeting that focused on recent violence and policing initiatives. Ideas will be presented to the city’s administration.
A man named Ricardo, who lives a block from Kosciuszko Park, said he is a regular visitor. “I feel safe. Me, I always try to do the right thing,” he said.
Biden and Szczerba also reiterated that any information about an unsolved crime, no matter how insignificant it may seem, could end up being helpful – information such as a vehicle description, a license plate number, or a description of a pedestrian in the area.