BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It’s been more than two-and-a-half years since 3-year-old McKenzie Elliott was killed in a drive-by shooting.
She was playing on the front porch of her Waverly neighborhood home on the August 1 afternoon when a stray bullet took her life. She would be 6 years old now.
Baltimore Police announced Wednesday morning that there has been an arrest made in the case. They held a joint press conference with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office.
A senseless gang dispute over territory is what sparked the man accused of pulling the trigger. He had a rap sheet and because these are federal charges, he faces the death penalty.
According to court documents, 28-year-old Terrell Plummer has been charged in the shooting as part of a larger drug conspiracy case. He and six other alleged gang members have been indicted.
“We are happy that justice was served for McKenzie Elliott. That’s the bottom line,” said Daniel Board of the ATF.
The other men listed in the indictment are 22-year-old Davonte Rich, 23-year-old Trevon Beasley, 23-year-old Tyrone Jamison, 25-year-old Davin Lawson, 26-year-old Calvin Watson and 26-year-old Tyron Brown.
Rod J. Rosenstein indicted the seven members of the violent “Old York Money Gang.”
Plummer lived on the same street named in Elliott’s memory. His arrest ends Rosenstein’s tenure as he leaves to become deputy U.S. attorney general.
One of them, Tyron Brown, had been a fugitive as of the press conference Wednesday morning but was taken into custody later in the day, according to the Department of Justice.
“I’m gonna take this portion of McKenzie with me to Washington D.C. this afternoon, when I meet with the attorney general I’m gonna talk with him about the extraordinary work being done by our front-line police officers,” Rosenstein said.
Rosenstein described how he told the mother the news.
“I think it was a surprise to Ms. Epps because she was not aware of the federal investigation. It was satisfying for me and for the police officers to bring some degree of closure,” he said.
The toddler’s murder in August 2014 outraged the City. Days later, then City police commissioner Anthony Batts made the following claim:
“We will bring them to justice before the end of this week.”
Authorities would not say what led them to crack the case. It’s closure comes at a time when murders are skyrocketing in Baltimore.
“Murder is out of control. We can no longer do this, you will be found, you will be caught,” said City Mayor Catherine Pugh.
City police commissioner Kevin Davis said this was never a cold case.
He stressed the investigation was always active. They were always looking for McKenzie’s killer.
The murder left all of Waverley in awe.
“Everybody took this personal,” said Sonja Merchant-Jones, Waverly community leader.
“I don’t know what to say. It took so long. I am very happy,” one person said.
“I won’t say that I doubted it. I just kept the faith. Merchant-Jones said. “I will never forget how they wheeled that child out. You want to say you are happy but you can never be happy at those circumstances.”
Justice sends a strong message to those wreaking havoc on city streets.
“Justice delayed is not necessarily justice denied,” said Bishop Dr. Dwight Dodd Sr. of Mt. Oliver Missionary Baptist Church.
When commenting about the arrest in the case, the mayor also said she is asking the FBI for personnel and technology to help the skyrocketing crime problem.