Chief T.J. Smith's brother gunned down inside his home

Posted at 6:18 PM, Jul 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-06 06:54:33-04

In a city with a dizzying murder rate it is easy, maybe even necessary for some to say, well that isn't my neighborhood or this doesn't affect me.

On Sunday, that bubble burst.

"When I called, I was hoping that he'd answer because even what I was doing, even just the fear that it was him, I was going to wherever he was just to hug him. And um, I didn't get a chance to do that," Police Spokesperson T. J. Smith said.

T.J. knew, he knew when he saw the homicide victim's name cross his department issued cell phone.

RELATED: Community mourns 24-year-old gunned down in home

Homicide victim No. 173 was his little brother, 24-year-old Dion Smith shot and killed in his Upton home on Argyle Avenue.

On Monday police released surveillance video of who they think killed Dion.

The best T.J. can guess, it was someone his brother knew who took advantage of his good nature.

That kind heart always wanted to be part of the solution T.J. said, working for causes like Kids Safe Zone in West Baltimore, Dion had a plan which in no small part was to make his older brother proud.

"I am not angry,” T.J. said, “I am upset. I am upset that he is not gonna have a life to lead and I know what he wanted to do."

It is tough to not be angry but T.J. says anger is not useful.

Rather he hopes his experience behind the microphone, his pain can be a flashpoint for a city in crisis.

"Enough with the hashtags and the R.I.P.s and the balloons and the vigils and the tee shirts. Let's stop. I mean we can't keep sitting up here...ya know.  He will have his moment of tee shirts and moment of R.I.P. and moment of Instagram hashtags and all and then we are gonna move on to the next person, until we stop."

Smith held a press conference on the incident Wednesday afternoon:

RELATED: Baltimore violence hits close to home for police Chief T.J. Smith

Police released surveillance video of two persons of interest and are asking anyone with information to call detectives at 410-396-2100.