ROCKVILLE – Nearly four months have passed, and Montgomery County Police (MCP) have arrested no suspects in the killing of 18-year-old Germantown man.
The victim was resident Tray Dawkins, a graduate of Northwest High School, who was shot on April 16.
MCP announced in two different ways during the past few weeks that the investigation is ongoing and asked for tips. MCP wrote in a news release on Aug. 6 that the Victims’ Rights Foundation said it would provide a reward of up to $2,000 for a tip leading to an arrest in connection with the homicide of the Germantown teen. Crime Solvers of Montgomery have said someone with a tip that leads to an arrest may receive an award of up to $10,000.
The department then posted a video about the case on Twitter and Facebook on July 29, in which Officer Rick Goodale, spokesperson for MCP, emphasized that detectives depend on tips to solve cases.
“Detectives have been working non-stop to identify Tray’s killer,” Goodale said.
MCP Detective Mike Kwarciany said Dawkins’ family wants closure in the case and have been cooperating with police, but the department needs more information. He also said the lack of tips from the public poses as an obstacle for MCP in resolving the case.
“Despite the fact that there were many people present during the time of the shooting, to include those that were targeted as well as neighbors in that community, we’ve had very little assistance in the form of leads or help in the community in solving this case,” Kwarciany said.
County Councilmember Craig Rice (D-2) said during National Night Out on Aug. 6, residents, including friends and neighbors of an advisory group, told him about the case late Northwest alum. The news of Dawkins’ death made them concerned about safety in the neighborhood, Rice added.
“Right after the murder of Tray, people were very concerned about allowing their children to play outside,” Rice said.
MCP said that investigators do not believe the crime was random. Kwarciany said a group of people were standing in the parking lot of Curry Powder Lane on April 16 around 9 p.m., when at least one person in a car drove by and shot at them.
Emergency response received multiple calls reporting the sound of gunshots, according to police officials on Aug. 9. By the time the vehicle left the parking lot, four males, including Dawkins, had been hit with bullets. They were transported to hospitals with injuries. District 5 officers arrived at the scene, but by then, the suspect or suspects had left the scene.
As a high school student, Dawkins was a star hurdler on the track team who was always able to flash a smile. Members of the Northwest Jaguars track and field team mourned the death of their former teammate as they prepared for and competed in the regional and state outdoor track and field championships. At the time of Dawkins’ death, the team was already coping with the loss of another teammate, Josh Snyder, who died in a car crash on October 2018.
Northwest Principal Jimmy D’Andrea said he makes a point to encourage his students to support each other during tough times.
“You know, we have a very strong community,” D’Andrea said. “Our school motto, which was developed by students about 10 years ago, (is) ‘all for one and one for all,’ and I often reference that when speaking to students about the importance of coming together to support one another in difficult times.”
Dawkins is not the only former Northwest student to be shot and killed during the past few years.
Four men were convicted in the murders of Northwest seniors Shadi Adi Najjar, 17, and Artem S. Ziberov, 18, who died June 5, 2017, the day before their high school graduation.
MCP detectives ask anyone with information about a suspect or suspects involved in the incident that resulted in Dawkins’ death to call the Major Crimes Division 240-773-5070.
People who wish to provide an anonymous tip may call Crime Solvers Montgomery toll free at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477); anyone who provides information that leads to an arrest in the case is eligible for a reward of up to $10,000.