Authorities said they have arrested a third suspect believed to be involved in the killing this summer of 10-year-old Makiyah Wilson, who was shot as she went to get a treat from an ice-cream truck in Northeast Washington.
On Wednesday, D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham said Gregory Taylor, 23, of Fort Washington, Md., had been arrested and charged with first-degree murder while armed.
Makiyah was fatally shot July 16 when four masked men jumped from a carjacked Infiniti and sprayed gunfire into a crowded courtyard at an apartment complex. Five people were hit, including Makiyah and her 18-year-old sister, who was wounded in the arm but survived. Makiyah was shot in the heart and died as she clutched a $5 bill she had been given to buy her ice cream.
In August, two men — Qujuan Thomas, 20, and Quentin “Q” Michals, 21 — were arrested and charged with first-degree murder. Newsham on Wednesday said law enforcement officials think there were at least two more people involved in the shooting.
Makiyah’s mother, Donnetta Wilson, said Wednesday morning that she had gotten a call from police to come to the homicide unit’s office.
“It’s a relief when they do get somebody else off the street,” Wilson said. “But the whole situation is just so frustrating.”
“I miss my child,” she added. “It’s a sad moment because my daughter is never coming back.”
On the day her daughter was shot, Wilson held her child and cried, saying again and again, “Please don’t let my baby die.” Makiyah later died at a hospital.
Newsham called the shooting brazen.
A preliminary hearing for Thomas and Michals was scheduled for Thursday in D.C. Superior Court. But that hearing will be rescheduled for a later date to include all three suspects.
Officials have said the incident was part of a turf war between rival crews in the Wellington Park and Clay Terrace neighborhoods. One of the groups bought a stolen car to use in the incident and then recruited gunmen, authorities said in court papers.
According to court documents, it is not clear what started the particular argument between the crews. After Makiyah’s death, police said an unnamed informant told them one of the men involved in the fatal shooting of the girl said: “They didn’t even see her. They didn’t mean to shoot her.”
Newsham on Wednesday shared a message for others involved in Makiyah’s death: “Sooner or later, we are going to come and get you.”
“We’re not going to tolerate this in our community,” he added. “We’re not going to rest in this case until we have everyone who is responsible.”
A reward of $45,000 is being offered for information in the case.
Makiyah, described as a bright child who loved art and puzzles, attended D.C. Scholars Public Charter School and would have been a fifth-grader this fall. Makiyah was well known in her neighborhood and wore a princess crown in recent photos.
“She wanted to conquer the world,” her mother had said.
Wilson said her 18-year-old daughter continues to recover from the wound to her arm. She said the teen is “doing a whole lot better” but is still having a tough time. “Just living and trying to go along with life, it’s frustrating,” Wilson said. “It’s overwhelming.”
Makiyah’s death stirred outrage, with city leaders and area residents demanding a stop to the rash of violence hitting the District this year. There have been 230 homicides in the D.C. region this year, and of those 135 have been in the District, mainly in Southwest and Southeast neighborhoods, according to a tracking done by The Washington Post.