Charges issued for fatal shooting of Howard HS freshman

    Wilmington Police investigate in the 900-block of Clifford Brown Walk where 15-year-old Brandon Wingo was killed (John Jankowski/for NewsWorks)

    Wilmington Police investigate in the 900-block of Clifford Brown Walk where 15-year-old Brandon Wingo was killed (John Jankowski/for NewsWorks)

    Four people have been indicted in the murder of 15-year-old Brandon Wingo as he walked home from school last month. 

    A grand jury handed down the indictments on Monday against Kevon Harris-Dickerson, 20, Zaahir Smith, 19, and Diamonte Taylor, 18. Wilmington police and prosecutors believe all three men planned and took part in the Howard High School freshman’s murder on May 19.

    The Dept. of Justice did not specify whether one or all of the suspects fired the gun at Wingo. It’s also not clear why Wingo was targeted.

    Latasha Pierce was indicted on related charges. The 34-year-old is accused of providing her gun to a person prohibited and then falsely reporting it stolen to police.

    In addition to murder, the charges against the three men include gang participation. Authorities believe they were members of the Shoot To Kill, or STK, gang and that Wingo’s shooting was yet another violent act by the gang. 

    The indictment also included charges for crimes committed on several dates throughout May and on June 1, some of them as re-indictments now included as gang-related activity.

    “The case against these individuals continues to be built, but Wilmington Police and DOJ prosecutors felt there was probable cause for each charge, and it was necessary to bring these indictments now to try to disrupt some of the violence being perpetrated by gangs on Wilmington streets,” Attorney General Matt Denn said. 

    “The Wilmington Police Criminal Investigations Division works diligently to solve all homicides,” Wilmington Police Chief Bobby Cummings said. “As a result of the hard work put forward by our detectives and the Attorney General’s Office, we are pleased that indictments could be issued for the tragic taking of this young man’s life.”

    At the time of the indictment, all three men were in custody on charges related to other crimes. Pierce was arrested this morning.

    Bail hearings for the three male suspects were held on Wednesday. Harris-Dickerson, Smith and Taylor remain imprisoned on $1.5 million, $2 million and $1.5 million cash bail, respectively.

    Repeat offender

    Last summer, the Delaware Dept. of Correction sent out a release about Harris-Dickerson escaping from the Plummer Community Corrections Center in Wilmington. Security camera footage showed Harris-Dickerson, who went by Abdullah Abdurraqeeb at the time, took off over the perimeter wall and then fled on foot. Police caught up with him three months later in October. 

    DOJ Spokesman Carl Kanefsky said he was sentenced to 90 days in prison, followed by 6 months of home confinement and a year of probation. 

    This was Harris-Dickerson’s second successful escape from the same facility; he also got away in 2014.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.