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Baltimore Police Arrest Man For Hit-And-Run Death Of 12-Year-Old Girl

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WJZ general assignment reporter Mike Hellgren came to Maryland's News...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — After searching for 10 days, police make an arrest in the killing of a sixth-grader. They say he’s also linked to the murder of another young person.

Mike Hellgren has new information on who he is.

His name is Kevin Simpson. He’s 20 years old and faces just 10 years in jail if he’s convicted of vehicular manslaughter for killing a gifted little girl.

In his mugshot, Simpson’s face is scarred from the crash that killed 12-year-old Shanizya Taft. Police say he was wearing a ski mask and driving a stolen Ford when undercover officers pulled him over.

He fled and ran into a family’s minivan on East Preston Street, killing the sixth-grader and injuring her mother.

“The pain that I’m feeling physically is nothing. It’s nothing compared to how my heart feels, how my soul feels,” said Shanell Pryor, victim’s mother.

Police would not go into detail about how they arrested Simpson. His capture had been the department’s top priority.

Police say Simpson was traveling anywhere from 68 to 81 miles per hour in the 35 mile per hour residential zone. They gained access to an event data recorder inside the car. It’s similar to a plane’s black box.

“It speaks to the callous nature. When you have an accident that occurs in an intersection at that rate of speed, it’s clear that the only person he was concerned about is his own well being,” said Lt. Eric Kowalczyk, Baltimore City Police.

Police believe Simpson stole the car that killed Taft after murdering 15-year-old Oscar Torres in an armed robbery in Southwest Baltimore on Memorial Day. They’re calling him a “person of interest” in Torres’ death.

Torres supported his family after dropping out of Patterson Park High School.

“Nobody see nothing. Nobody talk. Why? It’s impossible. It’s not easy,” said Francisco Torres, victim’s father.

“We’re glad that he’s in custody. We hope very much that the public will come forward and give us the information that we need to bring Oscar Torres’ case to a close as well,” said Kowalczyk.

Simpson is not charged in Torres’ death. Because the case is ongoing, police cannot reveal much information about how they made this arrest. They do credit tips from the community.

If you know anything about the murder of Oscar Torres, call Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7-LOCKUP. You can remain anonymous.

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