A man in custody for allegedly killing a 12-year-old in a car crash and under investigation in the shooting death of a 15-year-old is now being looked at in yet another homicide, and detectives are seeking the public's help to close the case.
Police say Kevin Simpson, 20, is a person of interest in the killing of a 27-year-old man on May 23 behind a Southwest Baltimore gas station — a shooting death detectives say may be connected to four days of violence that left three dead.
Simpson is being held in a Baltimore jail without bail on charges of vehicular manslaughter and other crimes in the death May 27 of sixth-grader Shanizya Taft. A public defender representing Simpson did not return a message left at her office.
Once he was arrested, investigators got their first look at Simpson and noticed a resemblance to a suspect wanted in a homicide four days before the fatal crash.
On May 23, police said, Martel Jackson, 27, was outside a Citgo gas station in the 2300 block of Frederick Ave. when surveillance cameras captured him talking to another man, Baltimore police Lt. Richard Gibson, a homicide commander, said in a statement. The footage showed the men went behind a shed.
There, Gibson said, Jackson was shot to death about 10:10 p.m. His body wasn't found until a few hours later.
Detectives reviewed area surveillance tapes but were unable to identify the suspect, who appears to be wearing a jumpsuit.
Early May 26, two days after Jackson's body was found, police said a gunman robbed 15-year-old Oscar Torres and a 27-year-old friend, shot both and stole the white Ford Fusion they had been riding in.
Torres was killed while the other victim was critically injured. Police didn't have a suspect, but they released a description of the stolen car to news outlets hoping tips might lead to the car and shooter.
On the night of May 27, police spotted the car and followed until it sped away and drove into an East Baltimore intersection, colliding with a minivan carrying Shanizya Taft, her mother and a sister. Taft was killed; the two others injured.
The Ford's driver walked away from the crash, but police said they were able to identify Simpson as the driver because they say he left his cellphone in the wreck.
Homicide detectives tested bullet casings found at the Southwest Baltimore gas station, and they matched those found at the scene of Torres' shooting on Memorial Day, police said.
While they could establish that the homicides were connected, they could not tie a suspect to them.
Detectives say they are looking for a woman who may hold key information.
On the gas station surveillance footage, the suspect in Jackson's homicide was seen with a black woman wearing a tank top, necklace and dark shorts. She has her hair in a tight bun and tattoos on her left shoulder down to her elbow. A tattoo could be seen covering her right wrist area. Her right thigh is also tattooed, investigators say.
Detectives asked for help in locating or identifying her, Gibson said. Anyone with information is asked to call (410) 396-2100 or 911.
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