Arnold Downing

Berlin Police Chief Arnold Downing

Berlin Police Chief Downing comments during meeting

 (May 31, 2019) The community continued to mourn the loss of a 17-year-old boy who died last week in Berlin.

“We know it’s a time for healing for the community,” Berlin Police Chief Arnold Downing said during a Town Council meeting Tuesday. “We anticipate a lot of other events with the young folks of the community that are going through.”

He added students were planning a balloon release for Thursday to honor Nichols’ life, but an exact time and location was unclear.

Berlin resident Dehaven Nichols' body was found in a wooded area near an apartment complex off Route 113 in Berlin, according to police. He was pronounced dead by EMS personnel.

The alleged shooter, Vershawn Hudson-Crawford, 16, of Berlin, was charged as an adult with first- and-second-degree murder, as well as first-and-second-degree assault. He’s being held without bond. 

Hudson-Crawford, his mother and grandmother went to the Berlin Police Department last Wednesday, according to a preliminary investigation. His mother informed police that her son, Vershawn, had been involved in an altercation.

Police responded to the area after learning the victim’s whereabouts, and found Nichols unresponsive, according to a preliminary investigation. His body was later sent for an autopsy to the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore.

Hudson-Crawford has a preliminary hearing scheduled for 9 a.m. on June 4 at the Worcester District Court in Snow Hill. 

Downing also praised the efforts of the other local and state law enforcement agencies who assisted his department.

“Again, we can’t go ahead and do these things on our own,” Downing said.

Downing also applauded the health department and school counselors for their work over the past week, and urged parents to continue having conversations with their children.

“...We can’t say it any stronger, please hold onto your children just a little bit tighter. Have a discussion, a talk with them, and understand they are going through emotional things,” Downing said.

CORRECTION: This article was updated to reflect Nichols was not killed in a shooting. 

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