UPDATE: Brunswick teen identified as victim in shooting at Frederick hotel

Trevor Baratko,, The Frederick News-Post, Md.
·4 min read

Apr. 16—Full read as of 5:42 p.m.

A 17-year-old Brunswick High School student was shot dead early Friday, his body found in a parking lot outside a Frederick hotel in the early-morning hours, and authorities were turning over any stone for clues as dusk approached some 16 hours later.

Frederick County Sheriff's Office deputies found Malakai Tyrelle Cooke's body outside the Country Inn and Suites at 5579 Spectrum Drive in Frederick after responding to a call for gunshots shortly after 2 a.m. Friday.

Sheriff's office spokesman Todd Wivell said investigators were conducting interviews and working to gather surveillance footage in hopes of generating more information on the killing.

One of the people the sheriff's office interviewed was referred to as a person of interest earlier in the day, but their designation was later changed to witness.

Brunswick High School Principal Michael Dillman issued a brief statement on Cooke's death, simply noting the teen was known by many at the school and that counselors were on hand to support students.

"I encourage you to reach out to any member of our administration or counseling teams if you need any support," Dillman wrote. "It is during times like this that I appreciate the strength and support our community always provides. Please keep Malakai's family in your thoughts."

At the Country Inn around 8:50 a.m., yellow police tape was strewn around a section of the property located amid a busy business corridor just off Buckeyestown Pike and Interstate 270, slightly outside the city limits.

While roughly half a dozen marked and unmarked police cars dotted the hotel parking lot in the morning, members of the public could still pull into the property and make a lap around the building. There were no signs of property damage or shattered windows.

By 5 p.m., the police tape had been removed and there appeared to be just two unmarked police cars on the premises.

Anyone with information about the incident can contact FCSO dispatch at 301-600-1046 and reference case No. 21-034259.

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Update: 12:47 p.m.

Seventeen-year-old Malakai Tyrelle Cooke of Brunswick has been identified as the victim of Friday morning's shooting at the Country Inn and Suites in Frederick, according to the Frederick County Sheriff's Office.

No suspects have been named or are in custody, authorities said. The sheriff's office is continuing to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death.

Cooke's body was found outside in the hotel parking lot, according to authorities.

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Update: 9:32 a.m.

A Frederick County Sheriff's Office spokesman said authorities have identified a person of interest in Friday morning's deadly shooting at the Country Inn and Suites hotel in Frederick, and the sheriff's office is working to contact that person and bring them in for questioning.

Spokesman Todd Wivell said the 17-year-old victim's next of kin is being notified this morning. The victim's identity is expected to be released shortly, Wivell said.

The victim's body was found on the ground in the parking lot. He was dead upon authorities' arrival.

As for whether the incident is drug- or gang-related, Wivell said those details or other possibilities remain under investigation. He added the sheriff's office does not regularly or frequently receive calls for service at the Country Inn property.

Around 8:50 a.m., yellow police tape was strewn around a section of the property at 5579 Spectrum Drive, though members of the public could still pull into the parking lot and make a lap around the building.

Roughly half a dozen marked and unmarked police vehicles dotted the parking lot. There were no immediate signs of property damage or shattered windows within the building.

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Original report: 7:08 a.m.

A reported shooting in Frederick early Friday morning has left a 17-year-old male dead, the Frederick County Sheriff's Office is reporting. Authorities were not immediately naming any suspects.

Sheriff's office deputies responded to the Country Inn and Suites at 5579 Spectrum Drive in Frederick around 2 a.m. for a call of shots fired, authorities said. When they arrived, they found the 17-year-old from Frederick County dead. The victim's identity is not being released at this time.

FCSO detectives were working the scene — a business-populated strip just off Interstate 270 near Francis Scott Key Mall — Friday morning. The public should expect a heavy police presence in the area throughout the day.

Anyone with information about the incident can contact FCSO dispatch at 301-600-1046 and reference case No. 21-034259.

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This is a News-Post news alert. Check back to FrederickNewsPost.com for more information as it becomes available.