Ten years ago, city police Detective Troy Chesley was killed in a shooting in Northwest Baltimore. Late Friday night, his son met a similar fate.
Police said Trayvon Chesley, 22, was fatally shot about 11 p.m. in an alley behind his home in the 3900 block of Wabash Ave. A takeout box and plastic foam cup lay near his body, and it appeared he was returning home after picking up the food.
Chesley's father was shot about two miles away on Jan. 9, 2007, as he tried to unlock the front door of his girlfriend's apartment in the 4500 block of Fairfax Road.
Police said Trayvon Chesley was shot in the head and body. He was pronounced dead on the scene by paramedics.
"This one definitely hits home," said Maj. Steven Ward, the commander of the Southern District, who was Troy Chesley's supervisor and spoke at his funeral. He and Chesley were assigned to the department's public housing section, doing undercover drug investigations.
"I'm kind of speechless. His father's death took a lot out of me. And last night, I responded out there. It just brought back a lot," Ward said Saturday.
At the scene Friday night, paramedics stood over Trayvon Chesley's body, then placed a white sheet on top of him. A woman standing outside the crime scene tape surrounded by family yelled, "Don't put that on my grandson!" between sobs.
A young woman approached the scene, asked if the victim was someone she knew, then ran away screaming. From around a nearby corner, she could be heard wailing as detectives inspected the scene.
"What this city is going through right now, we're losing a lot of young people. It's really senseless," Ward said. "I love being a police officer. I am just so tired of the senseless murders I see on a daily basis. That is why I keep doing this job."
Ward said he had not remained close to Trayvon in recent years but responded to the shooting Friday night when he learned it was Troy Chesley's son.
"Right now, the whole family is in disbelief. It brings up a lot," he said.
Trayvon was the second-oldest of Troy Chesley's five children. The eldest, Troy Chesley Jr., is in the Army and stationed at Fort Bliss in Texas. He was trying to return to Baltimore night after learning the news, Ward said.
Trayvon and Troy Jr.'s mother died about three years before their father was killed. After Troy Chesley's death, Ward said, several members of the Police Department stepped in to try to help mentor the boys and offer support. He said he helped arrange events for Chesley's sons, including meeting some of the Ravens football players and attending a Washington Wizards basketball game.
On Saturday, he posted one image to social media of him and three of Troy Chesley's children, with a young Trayvon in the middle wearing a Wizards T-shirt.
"Trayvon is a spitting image of his father," Ward said.
He said Troy Chesley was a loving father loved who was raising his children with help from his mother.
But Trayvon Chesley appears to have struggled in adulthood. In 2013, he was charged with attempted first-degree murder but was acquitted of the charges. He later received an eight-year sentence on gun-related charges, online court records show.
A woman leaving Trayvon Chesley's home declined to comment to a reporter Saturday morning. Two homicide detectives pulled up to the home to give the family an update, they said.
The scene is about two blocks from the home of Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh, who spoke out Saturday against the violence across the city.
"It may be in my neighborhood, but the issue is that we have too many guns on our streets," Pugh said. "The violence has to stop. We have to get the guns out of people's hands who think it's OK to shoot people.
"It begins with us understanding the value of people's lives," she said.
As of Saturday morning, there have been 90 killings in the city this year — 21 more than during the same period last year.
Trayvon Chesley's killing was the third in Northwest Baltimore in one day.
Earlier Friday, a 50-year-old man was fatally shot while riding a bicycle about 1.5 miles away at the intersection of Wolcott and Norfolk avenues. That fatal shooting came after a 16-year-old boy was shot and killed just around the corner Thursday night. Police said those two shootings, though in the same area, were not related.
Police have not released any information about a suspect or motive in Trayvon Chesley's death.
Brandon Grimes, now 31, was charged in the killing of Chesley's father. Grimes had been arrested 17 times, including twice for handgun possession before Troy Chesley's killing, but was convicted only six times, for nonviolent offenses.
The case prompted outrage from police officials and politicians, who expressed frustration over issues that persist 10 years later: easy access to guns and repeat offenders.
Leonard D. Hamm, the police commissioner at the time, said city officials "need to start getting serious about getting people off the street."
Fred H. Bealefeld III, then chief of detectives and later police commissioner, expressed frustration that Grimes was able to obtain several guns.
"This is the third gun Brandon Grimes has had in his possession in less than a year," Bealefeld said, according to a Baltimore Sun article at the time. "We took two of them away from him. It's extraordinary, to say the least. This is the sort of mayhem and craziness we see all too often."
Grimes was sentenced to life without parole in Troy Chesley's death.
At sentencing, Chesley's mother, Joyce Chesley, addressed Grimes, telling him he should have been in jail long before her son's death.
"I have to go to the cemetery twice a week to see my son and talk to him," she said, according to an account of sentencing in the Sun.
Grimes is appealing hhis conviction.
Date Posted: Monday, April 17th, 2017 , Total Page Views: 2023
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