“The arrest is only the first step to ensuring the road to justice begins for Danny Kelly Jr. and to bring comfort to his family and the members of our community who have been personally impacted by this loss,” Chief Malik Aziz said at a news conference.
Kelly was fatally wounded in the driver’s seat of his pickup truck after a vehicle pulled up next to his and a person inside opened fire in an act of road rage in the 4400 block of St. Barnabas Road in the Temple Hills area, police said. Officers responded about 4:40 p.m., police said.
Kelly was with his girlfriend and their three young children on their way to a holiday dinner, police said. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.
No one else in the truck was injured.
The arrest comes days after police released surveillance video on Tuesday of an SUV they say was connected with the killing and sought help from the public. The video showed the SUV on St. Barnabas Road near Branch Avenue stopped at a red light before driving out of camera view, moments after the shooting, police said.
Homicide detectives were able to identify the dark blue GMC Envoy they were looking for, which police say is registered to a relative of Lewis. Police said detectives identified Lewis and learned that he had been arrested by Prince George’s police on St. Barnabas Road on Dec. 27 and charged with being a felon in possession of a gun.
The gun in that arrest was linked to the shooting of Kelly, police said. Detectives are still in search of the GMC Envoy, police said.
Lewis was arrested Thursday in Clinton, police said. He is in custody of the Prince George’s County Department of Corrections and is being held without bond. Police said Lewis has confessed to the shooting.
It was not immediately clear whether Lewis has an attorney.
In 2021, the county had three road rage incidents resulting in homicide, Aziz said, adding that settling any dispute with violence is “never the answer.”
“The results last a lifetime,” Aziz said.
Violent crime in the county and D.C. region spiked last year, with increased shootings and several killings over trivial disputes. Homicide numbers in 2021 were at the highest they had been in Prince George’s since 2007.
According to data from the department, 941 arrests were made for illegal gun possession and the department recovered 1,399 guns in 2021.
“We must stay focused on the violence that has taken place in Prince George’s County and here in the region and across the nation,” Aziz said.
The county has engaged in multiple public safety and community programs aimed to address the violence, including a recent initiative announced by County Executive Angela D. Alsobrooks, the “Hope in Action Anti-Violence Project” which aims to reduce violent crime through partnership between law enforcement and community stakeholders.
Kelly’s cousin, Symone DeLoatch, said at a news conference Tuesday how deeply Kelly loved his family, bringing excitement and joy to family events. Though he was a heavyweight champion, he was a “gentle giant,” she said.
Daryl Brown, Kelly’s first boxing coach and mentor, said he would bring his children with him everywhere and they were “everything to him.”
The professional boxer had nine knockouts and a record of 10-3-1, according to his stats on BoxRec.com.
Ellie Silverman contributed to this report