A Northeast Baltimore man is charged with shooting two squeegee workers earlier this year, believing they had scammed his mother by taking more than $2,000 of her money through a phone app, police said.
Authorities have charged Zhamiel Dixon, 26, with two counts of attempted first-degree murder and related charges. It is unclear whether the squeegee workers — one of whom was critically wounded in the double shooting in May — are the same ones who reportedly stole $2,200 from Dixon’s mother using Cash App.
The charging documents do not say why Dixon suspected the two men, neither of whom has been charged in the theft. Also, the intersection where Dixon’s mother reported that squeegee workers scammed her is about three miles from the area where authorities allege Dixon approached squeegee workers and later shot two of them.
Police did not say whether the gunshot victims are suspected of involvement in the Cash App scheme.
Dixon was arrested last month and remains at the Baltimore Central Booking and Intake Center.
Dixon did not have an attorney listed in online court records, and a man who answered at his home in the Waltherson neighborhood declined to comment Thursday.
The Baltimore Sun was unable to reach the two shooting victims, ages 18 and 24, on Thursday.
Dixon’s mother reported to police that on May 18 squeegee workers approached her car at 1660 East Belvedere Avenue and pleaded with her to give them money, according to court documents. After she told them she had no cash, they asked to use a cash app to receive payment. Dixon’s mother handed her cellphone to the men, allowing them to access her cash app, the charging documents said. Later, Dixon’s mother realized they had transferred $2,200 to their accounts.
The following day, Dixon approached three squeegee workers while they were working three miles away at the intersection of Moravia Road and Sinclair Lane.
The victims told police they were working at the intersection when Dixon approached them, asking if they would help move some items in exchange for a couple of hundred dollars, according to the charging documents. The victims agreed and got into the back of Dixon’s black Dodge pickup truck.
The victims told police Dixon drove them to the 2400 block of Edmondson Avenue in Southwest Baltimore where he took them to the back porch of the home, and said, “Who did this to my mom, who took the money the other day?”
Dixon then pulled out a gun and started shooting, striking one victim, a 24-year-old man, in the neck, and the other, an 18-year-old man, in the head, leaving him critically injured, according to the charging documents. The third squeegee worker got away unscathed.
Video footage from nearby captured the truck parking and, minutes later, the men running away. Police then used license plate readers to identify Dixon as the registered owner of the truck, the documents said.
Police then ran Dixon’s name through police databases and learned his brother, Adonay Dixon, is incarcerated and began listening to jail calls between the two brothers.
In the charging documents, police said the brothers were “very upset” and believed the squeegee workers had stolen money from their mother.
In 2015, Adonay Dixon pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and was sentenced to life with all but 50 years suspended in exchange for his testimony against his co-defendant in the killing of 16-year-old Arnesha Bowers.
Police said a witness identified Dixon as the shooter, noting that the the shooter had a tattoo on his right hand. Dixon has a tattoo on his right hand, police said. Cellular data also placed Dixon in the area of the shooting when it occurred, according to the documents.
The shooting unfolded less than two months before another violent encounter involving squeegee workers in Baltimore.
In July, Timothy Reynolds, 48, died after he confronted a group of downtown Baltimore squeegee workers with a baseball bat — and one of the workers fired a gun, killing him, police said. Authorities later charged a 15-year-old in the killing.
Reynolds’ killing reignited debate surrounding squeegee workers, who wash car windows at intersections hoping to receive money. City leaders have responded with meetings with city residents, including squeegee workers and business leaders. The “Squeegee Collaborative,” convened by Mayor Brandon Scott is intended to develop a community-based response and expand on opportunities available to youth workers. Previously, the city launched an employment program, training youths in the hospitality industry.
Police said over the summer that the department had recorded 18 cases where squeegee workers got people to hand over their phones and then used an app to transfer large sums of money to themselves. The department didn’t provide updated data on Thursday.