A 24-year-0ld Wilmington man has been arrested and charged with the 2015 murder of a Wilmington teenager that touched off years of gang wars and more violence.
Oliver “Butter” Henry is accused of 1st degree murder for the January 2015 kili.ng of 16-year-old Jordan Ellerbe and three counts of attempted murder 1st Degree for the shooting or attempted shooting of Benjamin Smith and Troy Harvin.
Ellerbe’s murder ignited a feud between two rival gangs, Shoot to Kill and Only My Brothers, said Delaware Attorney General Kathy Jennings and Wilmington Police Chief Wilfredo Campos in a Thursday press conference.
In the years following Ellerbe’s death, retaliation led to multiple shootings and murders — including the broad daylight murder of 15-year-old Brandon Wingo — in addition to dozens of arrests.
“Jordan was only 16, and somehow he still wasn’t the youngest victim of this bloodshed,” said Jennings. “We live in the most prosperous country on Earth, and we have kids arming themselves and going to war with each other. It’s senseless. It’s wrong. And the ease with which it escalated and claimed young lives is the heavy toll we pay so that guns can live in our communities with our kids.”
She said her thoughts were with Jordan’s mother and all the families that live with the trauma and loss that guns create.
“No parent should have to worry about whether their child will make it home, but millions still do.”
Campos said Ellerbe’s murder not only fueled more violence, but left a family that has been waiting for answers and justice.
“I am proud of the persistence of our investigators, who worked tirelessly on this case and who continue to dedicate time and resources to pursuing justice in other cold cases like this,” he said. “While we know an arrest cannot heal the wounds left behind by this killing, I do hope it brings the family of Mr. Ellerbe some degree of closure.”
Henry was arrested Tuesday and is being held on $2.5 million cash bail at Howard Young Correctional Institution.
Betsy Price is a Wilmington freelance writer who has 40 years of experience, including 15 at The News Journal in Delaware.
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