Second victim in fatal Wilmington shooting charged with killing other man

 A man initially identified as the second victim of a Feb. 23 fatal shooting now faces murder and weapons charges in the case. (John Jankowksi/for NewsWorks)

A man initially identified as the second victim of a Feb. 23 fatal shooting now faces murder and weapons charges in the case. (John Jankowksi/for NewsWorks)

A wounded 21-year-old man identified as the second victim of a Feb. 23 fatal shooting in northeast Wilmington is now charged with first-degree murder in the case.

 Kashiem Thomas, who was shot in the back, remains in Christiana Hospital, where he was admitted in critical but stable condition after officers responding to the scene found him on the ground in the 600 block of W. 23rd St. Thomas will be turned over to the Department of Correction upon his release.

Killed was 38-year-old Keevan Hale, who police found with multiple gunshots to this upper torso in a home in the same block where his alleged killer was located.

Police, who announced charges against Thomas in a news release, have not revealed the relationship between Thomas and Hale or the motive for the shooting. A Wilmington Police spokeswoman did not return calls to discuss the case Friday.

The Feb. 23 double shooting was the second in three days in Wilmington, where record gun violence in recent years led Newsweek magazine to dub Delaware’s largest city “Murder Town USA” in a December 2014 article.

With violence already surging this year, new Mayor Mike Purzycki responded by increasing police presence in cooperation with federal, state and New Castle County authorities.

Purzycki, who took office in January, told WHYY-TV: “What everybody seems to understand is this is a long-term proposition to turn this violence around. You have to understand how deeply-seeded, in some of our communities, this kind of propensity for violence is.”

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