A Baltimore man has been apprehended and charged in the assassination of Zoe Spears, a transgender woman who was fatally shot on June 13 in Prince George’s County, Maryland, according to police.
Gerardo Thomas, 33, of Baltimore, was detained Wednesday in Cecil County, Prince George’s police announced Thursday. He is charged with first-degree murder and is being held without bond.
Spears, 23, was found murdered the night of June 13 in Fairmount Heights.
Maj. Brian Reilly, commander of the Criminal Investigation Division, said the seizure was the result of five weeks of “tireless, tedious hard work.”
The investigation originated with grainy black-and-white photographs of a Dodge Caravan obtained by a security camera across the road from where the gunfire occurred. The video showed the minivan from the driver’s side.
Detectives reached out to motor vehicle administrations in the District, Maryland, and Virginia, as well as neighborhood Dodge dealerships for records of Dodge Caravans, Reilly stated at a presser Thursday.
They operated with multiple police agencies across the Washington, D.C., area and the FBI to investigate tens of thousands of tips from license plate readers to determine the specific minivan. They learned the vehicle was a “distinctive billet silver color,” Reilly said.
After detectives located the van they gathered was in the video, they determined it had been borrowed from an Enterprise franchise in Baltimore by Thomas after he had been in an automobile collision.
Authorities are still investigating the motive, but do not gather Spears was targeted because she was transgender, Reilly stated, adding that Thomas confessed to being present at the scene and armed in the van the night of Spears’s slaying.
Police retrieved a shotgun Wednesday while performing a search warrant on Thomas’s residence in Baltimore and are working to resolve if it matches the weapon used to kill Spears, Reilly said.
There is no evidence the murder was correlated to the fatal shooting of Ashanti Carmon in the identical area on March 30, Reilly said. Carmon was also transgender and friends with Spears. Carmon’s case remains unsolved.