Md. Man Arrested in Death of Teen Shot on Dance Floor
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
D.C. police arrested a Silver Spring man yesterday and charged him in the death of 17-year-old Taleshia Ford, who was shot on the dance floor of a Northwest Washington nightclub this month.
Jamel Mackabee, 19, was charged with first-degree murder while armed. Still, police believe it was a "mistake" when Mackabee's gun went off inside the club, Capt. C.V. Morris, head of the department's violent crimes branch, said during a news conference. He said a single bullet hit Ford in the chest about 2 a.m. Jan. 20 inside the club, Smarta/Broadway, at 1919 Ninth St.
Detectives found Mackabee at his home in the 11500 block of February Circle in Silver Spring. Police had been searching for him since the shooting, but for several days all they had to go on was his nickname, "Wheezy," Morris said.
During the past two years, Mackabee has been arrested in the District and Montgomery County, according to court records. A charge of attempted second-degree murder against him in Montgomery County was dropped last year, and a charge of possessing an unlicensed weapon is pending against him in the District.
Morris said Ford was shot after Mackabee began arguing with one of the club's bouncers about a woman who had been thrown out of the club for smoking marijuana. Mackabee was trying to help the woman gain reentry, Morris said.
"He became irate and said, 'I'll take care of it,' " Morris said. "Then he pulled out a gun on the bouncer."
Morris said Mackabee pointed the gun at the bouncer, who lifted his arms in the air as if to surrender. Then the gun went off, killing Ford, Morris said.
Acting Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier said yesterday that officers had worked hard to make an arrest in the case and that she would "never forget" talking to Ford's mother, Michelle Wilson, after her daughter was killed.
Wilson said yesterday that she was pleased with the arrest and that it brings a bit of closure. "To some extent, I feel better," she said. "I'm happy they got him before anyone retaliated. She was a special girl, so a lot of people took it personally."
She said she still can't understand why anyone would have had a gun in the club.
Wilson said she did not know Mackabee and said she believed her daughter did not know him.
Allen Ward, 50, a Mackabee family friend who said he has known Mackabee for three or four years, described him as "one of the nicest kids you'll ever meet."