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The Journal Gazette

  • Underwood

Tuesday, March 15, 2016 4:36 pm

Suspects in 2 slayings in custody

Jeff Wiehe | The Journal Gazette

One is accused of playing a role in the death of a 30-year-old man shot in the midst of a scuffle on the side of the road this summer.  

The other is accused of shooting two men and killing one in the midst of a string of violence that erupted in the city during a 24-hour period in October. 

Those two homicides are unrelated, according to Fort Wayne police, but two men suspected in those killings both turned up in the Atlanta metropolitan area Monday.

Agents with the FBI along with officers from Georgia law enforcement agencies served a search warrant on a home in the Atlanta area and arrested 24-year-old Hozyfa Sultan, a man accused of pulling the trigger in a double shooting at 5111 Plaza Drive on Oct. 22. 

Brandon Washington, 20, died inside his home in that shooting. Another man was severely wounded but lived. 

Seven hours before that shooting, a man walked into a hospital critically injured from a gunshot wound to his neck. Police at the time believed that was connected to Washington’s killing. Roughly 12 hours later, Washington’s brother, 21-year-old Larry Washington, was also killed in a shooting along with a 16-year-old girl. 

Those killings were also connected to that wave of violence, police said at the time. 

As it stands now, Sultan is charged with murder and attempted murder in connection to the Brandon Washington slaying. 

Police in the Atlanta area also picked up 18-year-old Shakidi Underwood during a routine traffic stop of a vehicle in which he was a passenger. 

Local authorities have been looking for him for months after investigators tied him to the July 9 killing of 30-year-old Melvin Palmer III. 

Detectives believe Palmer was riding with a friend in the 4000 block of Lillie Street that evening when he wanted to pull over and talk to a 16-year-old later identified as Kamari Underwood.

Palmer approached that Underwood with money in hand, according to Allen County Superior Court records, and then Kamari Underwood pulled a gun. 

The two went to the ground in a fight and two gunshots were heard  before a second gunman came out of a nearby home and also started to shoot at Palmer, court documents said. 

Palmer eventually broke free from the struggle and ran as he tried to make his way to his friend’s car.  

The two were on their way to a hospital when they cut off an ambulance at Rudisill Boulevard and Winter Street. Palmer later died at the hospital from his wounds. 

Three months later, Allen County prosecutors charged Shakidi Underwood, who was 17 at the time, Kamari Underwood and 16-year-old Vicxon Gray as adults with counts of murder and robbery. 

Kamari Underwood and Gray were quickly arrested and are being held in Allen County Jail without bond; Shakidi Underwood escaped capture at the time. 

It’s unclear when Shakidi Underwood and Sultan will be brought back to Allen County as both will have to be extradited from Georgia. 

jeffwiehe@jg.net