BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Police have arrested a 29-year-old suspect in connection with the fatal shooting of 7-year-old Taylor Hayes in July.
Hayes died two weeks after being shot while sitting in the back of a car in west Baltimore on July 5.
Keon Gray has been charged with murder and other related charges in Hayes’ death. He was taken into custody in Anne Arundel County. He is currently being extradited back to Baltimore to face these charges.
Gray’s girlfriend, 34-year-old Daneka McDonald, is charged with being an accessory after the fact.
Shanika Robinson, the mother of Taylor Hayes, said the community has to come together, and the violence has to stop. She spoke for the first time since her daughter died.
“All the killing it gotta stop. It has to,” Robinson said. “Kids getting killed. I’ll never see my child again, ever.”
She spoke at the press conference Friday afternoon.
“We have to come together,” Robinson said. “It has to stop. I buried my baby,”
Interim Baltimore police commissioner Gary Tuggle praised the community who called in tips and investigators who track Gray down in Anne Arundel County.
Despite the family’s grief, they had gratitude for the community. Hayes’ aunt, Ebony Ward, spoke during Friday afternoon’s press conference, and thanked police for their work to make an arrest in this case.
“It was just outstanding work,” Ward said. “We gratefully appreciate it from the bottom of our heart. We gratefully appreciate everything, every tip.”
A memorial marked the spot where first responders scooped Taylor up and rushed her down to shock trauma. Though a month and a half has passed, the community has not forgotten her smile.
“People are thankful. People are relieved that somebody will hopefully be brought to justice for her death and I think it does give us some hope that the police department is gaining ground,” said Baltimore councilman Kristerfer Burnett.
The prosecutor reiterated that Gray is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Police gave few details on where exactly they found Gray, or how long he had been in Anne Arundel County.