New charges af­ter Dou­glass shoot­ing

Bal­lis­tic ev­i­dence con­nects Neil Davis to a homi­cide com­mit­ted in Novem­ber

Baltimore Sun Sunday - - NEWS - By Sarah Mee­han and Kevin Rec­tor

A 25-year-old man charged in Fri­day’s shoot­ing at Fred­er­ick Dou­glass High School has also been charged in con­nec­tion with a homi­cide last Novem­ber, ac­cord­ing to the Bal­ti­more Po­lice Depart­ment.

Neil Davis was charged with at­tempted first-de­gree mur­der and firearm vi­o­la­tions in Fri­day’s shoot­ing, which left a 56-yearold school em­ployee in se­ri­ous con­di­tion.

Davis had al­ready been in de­tec­tives’ sights be­fore the Dou­glass shoot­ing, and he was also linked to the killing Nov. 10 of Darelle Yancey, ac­cord­ing to po­lice. Yancey, 25, was shot and killed in the 4600 block of York Road, po­lice said.

Matt Jablow, a po­lice spokesman, said bal­lis­tics ev­i­dence col­lected at the scene of the school shoot­ing was part of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion that led to the mur­der charge in the Novem­ber case. He con­firmed Satur­day that homi­cide de­tec­tives had al­ready iden­ti­fied Davis as a sus­pect in the Novem­ber case and were in the process of draft­ing a search war­rant for his home when the shoot­ing at Dou­glass oc­curred.

When de­tec­tives heard that Davis had been ar­rested in the school shoot­ing and that of­fi­cers had taken a semi-au­to­matic hand­gun off of him, they re­quested that the gun be sent for bal­lis­tics test­ing im­me­di­ately. When the bal­lis­tics from the two shoot­ings matched, de­tec­tives had an­other key piece of ev­i­dence and brought the case to the state’s at­tor­ney’s of­fice, which signed off on the charges, Jablow con­firmed.

Davis is be­ing held at Cen­tral Book­ing await­ing a bail hear­ing, ac­cord­ing to po­lice.

An at­tor­ney for Davis was not listed in on­line court records.

Jablow said the depart­ment's homi­cide de­tec­tives, shoot­ing de­tec­tives and foren­sics lab all did a “great job” co­or­di­nat­ing with each other and con­nect­ing the two cases to se­cure the charges.

"As soon as the new ev­i­dence was avail­able yes­ter­day, they were quickly able to put the pieces to­gether," he said.

Melba Saunders, a spokes­woman for the state’s at­tor­ney’s of­fice, de­clined to com­ment on the case Satur­day, call­ing it an “open and pend­ing mat­ter.”

The vic­tim in Fri­day’s shoot­ing, iden­ti­fied by city school district of­fi­cials as Michael Marks, was in se­ri­ous but sta­ble con­di­tion and un­der­go­ing treat­ment Satur­day at the Mary­land Shock Trauma Cen­ter.

No stu­dents were in­jured dur­ing the in­ci­dent.

Ef­forts to reach Marks — a for­mer as­sis­tant coach for boys var­sity at Dou­glass — were un­suc­cess­ful.

Ge­orge John­son III called Marks a “good guy” who works to make a dif­fer­ence in the lives of kids in the city. John­son, a teacher who lives in the Be­lair-Edi­son neigh­bor­hood, said he met Marks play­ing pick-up games of bas­ket­ball at Druid Hill Park.

“He has a good re­la­tion­ship with teenagers,” said John­son, who teaches at an al­ter­na­tive school in Bal­ti­more County.

Hav­ing a men­tor like Marks is key, es­pe­cially for young men be­ing raised by sin­gle moth­ers, John­son said. Marks can help young peo­ple think through the con­se­quences of their ac­tions, be a voice of rea­son and share wis­dom. “Guys like him are in­stru­men­tal,” John­son said.

John­son, who has also taught in city schools, said the in­ci­dent should reignite the de­bate over al­low­ing school po­lice to carry guns dur­ing the school day.

That’s a po­si­tion for which the pres­i­dent of the school po­lice union, Sgt. Clyde Boatwright, also ad­vo­cates. The Bal­ti­more school board reaf­firmed their po­si­tion against al­low­ing the school po­lice of­fi­cers to carry their ser­vice weapons dur­ing the school day in a unan­i­mous vote last month.

School po­lice can carry guns while pa­trolling the ex­te­rior of a school be­fore and af­ter the school day, but they must store their weapons while classes are in ses­sion.

Neil Davis

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