Standing behind the intersection in Baltimore where her brother was shot and killed after confronting a group of squeegee workers with a baseball bat on July 7, 2022, Becky Reynolds reflected on what she described as the “biggest tragedy of our lives.”
Timothy Reynolds was 48. A 15-year-old was arrested and charged with first-degree murder and related offenses in his killing.
Though she can never bring him back, Becky Reynolds said, her family wants to fight so no one else experiences the same pain. She noted that her brother, who lived in Hampden, was the 186th victim of homicide — in a city where more than 300 people were killed — in 2022.
“This pain is universal. It has no face, no color, no anything,” Becky Reynolds said. “We’re just going to continue to fight for justice for my brother — for justice for everybody in this city,” she later added.
Meanwhile, the young man’s mother, Aijah Gatson, said her son — who’s now 16 — is doing as well as he can under the circumstances. She said she does not believe there is any evidence that points to him as the shooter.
“I want the truth to come out at the end of the day,” Gatson said. “That’s all.”
Starting Monday, a jury in Baltimore Circuit Court will be tasked with deciding what happened that afternoon at the intersection of Light and Conway streets near Inner Harbor. Prosecutors allege the deadly shooting was a deliberate, premediated and willful killing. But the teen’s defense attorneys have questioned the identification of their client while also stating that the shooter acted at least partially in self-defense.
The Baltimore Banner is not identifying the teen because of his age. He was 14 at the time and attended Digital Harbor High School.
The killing reverberated throughout the city — and beyond — sparking efforts to connect squeegee workers to social services and economic opportunities and ban window washing at several high-traffic intersections.
Circuit Judge Jennifer B. Schiffer is set to preside over the trial, which has been blocked out for two weeks.
Not long after 4:30 p.m. on July 7, 2022, Timothy Reynolds was driving an SUV and had an exchange that became heated with squeegee workers at the intersection of Light and Conway streets, Baltimore Police reported.
Next, he drove through the intersection, parked his vehicle and walked across eight lanes of traffic with a baseball bat toward a group of squeegee workers, according to eyewitness accounts and preliminary statements from police.
The Banner obtained dash camera video that shows part of the confrontation. The clip, though, does not show his initial approach.
In court documents, Assistant State’s Attorney Rita Wisthoff-Ito characterized surveillance video that showed a different angle of the encounter. She wrote that the teen picked up a bookbag and ran over to join a group of squeegee workers who were arguing with Reynolds.
The teen retreated, paused and pulled a ski mask over his face, Wisthoff-Ito said. He then ran back to the area.
Following shouting from both sides, Reynolds turned to leave and started walking away. Three squeegee workers — including the teen — followed him, Wisthoff-Ito said.
That’s when one of the squeegee workers, she said, started throwing rocks. They had formed a half circle around him.
Next, Reynolds turned around and moved toward the squeegee workers while swinging the bat once over his head, Wisthoff-Ito said. One of the young people, she said, ran up and hit him directly on the head with a brick or piece of concrete.
Disoriented, Reynolds spun around, wobbled and tried to regain his balance, Wisthoff-Ito said. He held the bat in the air at one point to steady himself and began to fall, she said.
The teen, she said, shot him five times while backing away and took off.
In Maryland, people have a duty to retreat before using deadly force outside their home or business.
Later, Thiru Vignarajah, a former Maryland deputy attorney general who represents the Reynolds family, went on a media blitz after he asserted that the state’s attorney’s office had extended a plea offer that called for the case to be sent to juvenile court.
Vignarajah walked reporters through the court documents that Wisthoff-Ito had filed in the case. The state’s attorney at the time, Marilyn Mosby, accused Wisthoff-Ito of leaking that material to Vignarajah and removed her from the prosecution.
Mosby’s successor, Ivan Bates, put Wisthoff-Ito back on the case.
Circuit Judge Charles H. Dorsey III ruled during a closed hearing that the teen would be tried as an adult. He has been incarcerated in the Youth Detention Center, according to jail records.
J. Wyndal Gordon, one of the teen’s attorneys, called on people in the community to attend the trial “so they can really get the truth of what happened that day.”
“This case is not about squeegee workers,” Gordon said. “This case is about road rage.
“If it wasn’t for road rage that was fueled by alcohol and enforced with a metal bat, Timothy Reynolds would be here with us today,” he added. “And he would probably be facing charges.”
Gordon accused the state’s attorney’s office of weaponizing its authority to charge his client with first-degree murder so he would stand trial as an adult.
“He looks forward to his day in court and the day that he’s exonerated in the next two weeks,” said Gordon, who’s representing the teen with Warren Brown.
A spokesman for the Baltimore State’s Attorney’s Office, James Bentley, declined to comment.
Prosecutors have disputed the allegation that Reynolds was intoxicated and reported that his blood heart alcohol level was 0.03%, which is below the legal limit for driving in Maryland.
Following the shooting, Mayor Brandon Scott announced he would increase police presence at intersections, direct law enforcement to arrest people who damage cars and work to connect squeegee workers to jobs.
Squeegee workers are predominantly young Black men who have for decades washed windows at various intersections in Baltimore in the hopes of receiving cash tips. Some people feel they’re trying to make money for their families to survive, while others view them as a nuisance who pose a danger to drivers.
Scott convened a group of about 150 young people, city officials and health care and business leaders called the Squeegee Collaborative, which released a final report that contained policy recommendations. Those included banning squeegeeing at six highly trafficked roads and paying squeegee workers who agreed to give up washing windows to take part in workforce development training.
In an email, Lindsey Eldridge, a spokeswoman for the Baltimore Police Department, said law enforcement has issued 40 warnings to people for walking and standing in the road.
Police, she said, have not issued citations or made any arrests.
On the anniversary of the shooting, Reynolds’ family members and friends gathered to honor his memory and call for justice.
His best friend, Trey Tomaschko, described him as hilarious, stating that he was a “great guy” and the “smartest person I knew.”
Becky Reynolds recalled how her brother was an engineer who graduated from Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and the Johns Hopkins University. He was a father of three and an Orioles and Ravens fan.
Her brother, she said, was not a “bat-wielding maniac.”
As Becky Reynolds spoke to reporters, the sky opened up.
The rain, she said, was a sign that there were tears over the city.