BALTIMORE -- The Baltimore Police Department's forensics team played a key role in collecting evidence that was used to put a 27-year-old man behind bars, according to charging documents.
Police announced on Wednesday that Kemonta Johnson had been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Dontae Johnson, who was shot and killed on Nov. 24, 2021, in the 1000 block of Appleton Street.
On that day, officers found Dontae Johnson suffering from a gunshot wound in an alleyway in West Baltimore.
Detectives found 28 9-millimeter shell casings, three bullet fragments, and one projectile near the alleyway where Dontae Johnson was fatally shot, according to charging documents.
Court records show that detectives found video footage that led them to a suspect vehicle: a minivan with a Maryland license plate.
Detectives observed three suspects exit the minivan and go into the alleyway that leads into the 1000 block of Appleton Street, according to charging documents.
"Just after the shooting takes place, the suspect[s] run back through the alleyway and get back into the van," the documents state. "The van begins to drive away before the passenger rear door is all the way closed."
Specialized auto theft detectives assisted with the search for the minivan—a 2007 Chevrolet Uplander—and found it in the unit block of West North Avenue on Nov. 30, 2021, according to charging documents.
The driver of the minivan ditched the vehicle and fled from the detectives, court documents state.
"The driver fled from the van and hid behind a nearby dumpster," the documents state. "Detectives apprehended the driver and recovered a firearm discarded by the driver in the dumpster."
Kemonta Johnson was taken into custody that day, according to charging documents.
Court records show that staff at the Baltimore Police Forensic Biology Unit processed the gun for potential DNA and matched it to a sample collected from Kemonta Johnson.
Meanwhile, staff at the Baltimore Police Firearms Analysis Unit tested the weapon by firing it and then comparing the cartridge casing discharged during the test to a cartridge casing from the murder scene, according to charging documents.
"On 9 March 2023 a microscopic examination was completed," the documents state. "The results revealed the cartridge casing form the murder scene was found to be a match for having been fired form the recovered Ruger Security 9mm handgun."
Kemonta Johnson was arrested in the 1600 block of West North Avenue on March 11, according to authorities.
Detectives have taken him to the Central Booking Intake Facility, police said.
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