Teenager charged in fatal shooting

Pizza deliverer, 22, killed during robbery attempt

March 25, 2009|By Justin Fenton | Justin Fenton,justin.fenton@baltsun.com

At age 14, police say, Radames Reyes ordered a pizza with the intention of robbing the deliveryman - and shot him when he failed to comply with the teenager's demands.

Reyes, now 15, was identified after police obtained the phone number that placed the order and used cell towers to triangulate its location, a technology that is being increasingly used to track suspects. Witnesses later told police that Reyes told them he had committed the killing Nov. 23 of Adam Diarra, 22, who was shot in the Wakefield community, according to charging documents.

Reyes, of the 1900 block of N. Forest Park Ave., was charged as an adult with first-degree murder.

His mother, Rhonda Smith, said Reyes is a student at Walbrook High School who enjoys sports, attends after-school activities and has never been in serious trouble. She said police have been harassing him for months about Diarra's death.

Reyes "keeps telling them he don't know anything, and they don't have any evidence, so they have to put it on someone," Smith said.

He was ordered held without bond Tuesday and was being detained in an adult facility.

"I'm very upset about this, and we're going to get to the bottom of it," Smith said.

Diarra, who worked for Royal Pizza on Woodlawn Drive, had been called to make a delivery to an apartment in the 2200 block of Tucker Lane, near Leakin Park. Police received a report of gunshots about 10:10 p.m. and saw a Dodge Caliber, which had driven onto a curb and into another vehicle, leaving a trail of glass and skid marks.

Diarra had been shot once in his left upper back and was taken to Sinai Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Attempts to find relatives for this article were unsuccessful, and management at Royal Pizza did not return phone calls Tuesday.

The Police Department's technical assistance response unit used cell phone towers to pinpoint the location of the phone used to order the pizza, which led them to Reyes, who had the phone in his pocket, officials said. Police also said that witnesses identified Reyes through a photo lineup as the person who told them that he had killed the pizza deliveryman because he failed to comply with his demands.

Reyes' arrest comes as the city observes national Youth Violence Prevention Week.

Among the youth violence prevention events this week was a "Juvenile Night" held in the Police Department's Southwest District, where Reyes lives.

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