Baltimore Delegate’s Grandson Gunned Down on Labor Day

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House Majority Whip Talmadge Branch in 2015. Still via YouTube/Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives.

Unchecked violent crime in 2017 has now claimed the lives of 238 242 people in Baltimore. The most recent victim was the grandson of a prominent local delegate.

Maryland House Majority Whip Talmadge Branch told The Baltimore Sun’s Erin Cox yesterday that a 22-year-old man fatally shot in Belair-Edison on Monday afternoon was his daughter’s son, Tyrone.

Police, who ID’d the victim on Tuesday morning as Tyrone Ray, said he was shot multiple times in the 4200 block of Nicholas Avenue around 12:30 p.m., and transported to an area hospital where he was later pronounced dead. Investigators said Ray was talking with two people when they opened fire and fled in a white vehicle.

Branch, a Democrat, has represented Baltimore’s 45th legislative district in the Maryland House of Delegates since 1995.

Police spokesman T.J. Smith said at a press conference Tuesday that investigators are exploring Ray’s killing as a targeted incident. “The suspects shot the person that they wanted to shoot, so to speak,” he said. “Why did they shoot him? We don’t know.”

Police released the following video showing two persons of interest:

Gov. Larry Hogan expressed his condolences on Facebook, writing, “We are heartbroken to learn of the death of House Majority Whip Talmadge Branch’s grandson. Please join with us as we pray for the Branch family and all of the people who loved this young man during this time of grief and mourning.”

Baltimore’s spiraling murder rate has claimed lives at a faster pace this year than in 2016 – the city had logged 33 more homicides through Aug. 26 compared to the year before, according to police data – with victims ranging from a one-year-old boy to a 97-year-old man. Most of them have been due to gun violence.

Branch isn’t the first local official to lose a family member to gun violence this year. On July 2, 24-year-old Dionay Smith, younger brother to Smith of the Baltimore Police Department, was killed in a shooting in Upton. Police caught his alleged killer within days.

Branch’s grandson was one of three seven people killed in shootings, stabbings and violent assault from Friday morning through the end of Labor Day. At least seven others were hospitalized with injuries.

None of the murders from this weekend are believed to be related, Smith said.

This story has been updated with new details about homicides from police, and corrected to reflect in the headline that Branch’s grandson, not his son, was fatally shot.

Ethan McLeod
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