Authorities have elected to charge a 15-year-old as an adult for his alleged role in the killing of Thomas Reynolds, a 48-year-old man who recently confronted car window washers with a metal baseball bat.
The incident all unfolded earlier this month at an intersection in downtown Baltimore, near the city’s Inner Harbor.
For unknown reasons, Reynolds got involved in an altercation with local workers who wash car windows for cash, often referred to as “squeegee kids,” as the group consists “mostly of teens from low-income neighborhoods,” according to AP News.
After the situation had escalated, one of these youths ultimately shot Reynolds, who was swinging a metal baseball bat at them during the confrontation. Reynolds eventually died as a result of his injuries.
A dashboard camera video, which was reviewed by The Baltimore Sun, eventually led to the shooter being identified as a 15-year-old who worked as a window washer.
The video in question notably opened with Reynolds confronting the workers while wielding the baseball bat before walking away from the intersection. However, three of the workers proceeded to follow Reynolds, who responded by running after the youths while swinging the bat.
Ultimately, one of the teens shot Reynolds five times, killing him in the process.
Upon identifying the alleged shooter through the footage, authorities took him into custody and formally charged him with first-degree murder this past Thursday. Neither his name nor photo have been publicly released, as he’s still a minor.
Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison noted in a statement that Reynolds “swung the bat at one or more of those squeegee workers. In return, one of the squeegee workers pulled out a gun and fired,” AP News reports.
“I hope that today’s arrest brings some closure and peace to the family, friends and loved ones of Timothy Reynolds,” Harrison added.
In the wake of this altercation, CBS Baltimore published an article that sought to give the workers a platform to share their truths.
“If I come out at 8 o’clock, I can make $500 in a single day,” one person, who began washing windows at just 15 years old, noted while speaking to the publication.
“People don’t see the struggle that we go through. Half of the people out on these streets, they don’t have food at home. That’s the reason we come out here,” he added.
“You’re trying to survive in the wilderness with nothing,” another worker added, per CBS Baltimore. “You’re just trying to survive. That’s how I feel like Baltimore City is. You’re just trying to survive. That’s it.”
A summit between prominent Baltimore voices, which was closed to the public, was also recently held at Coppin State University to further discuss the subject, as well as the underlying factors at play.
“We will not kick the can down the road,” Mayor Brandon Scott said, noting that the subject of car wash workers at intersections has been a hot-button topic in Baltimore for decades, per The Baltimore Sun.
“It will require us having difficult conversations, extremely difficult conversations, with a diverse set of voices who all care about the city,” he continued.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do, and this is just the beginning of the conversation. People were willing to roll their sleeves up,” Sen. Antonio Hayes (D-Md.) added, according to The Baltimore Sun.