Courtroom cleared after argument breaks out during 10-year-old murder suspects’ hearing

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WASHINGTON, D.C. - Except for attorneys and reporters, a courtroom was asked to clear on Monday during the arraignment hearing for two suspects charged in the murder of 10-year-old Makiyah Wilson.

Wilson's loved ones packed one side of the courtroom and waited for hours for the arraignment of Qujuan Thomas, 20, and Quentin Michals, 21.

The young girl was killed outside her home in Northeast D.C., in the Clay Terrace community, back on July 16th.

Police say four men, with a fifth driving, were caught on surveillance video pulling into a parking lot in the community and opening fire.

Michals turned himself into police on Monday morning, and Thomas was arrested over the weekend.

Wilson's family was visibly upset and emotional when both men initially came out for their arraignment.

At one point, a family member on Wilson's side questioned why a family member of at least one of the suspect's was looking at them. Within seconds, an emotional screaming match ensued and both sides had to be escorted out of the courtroom separately.

"You killed my grandbaby, now you're disrespecting us in the courtroom to the point when we get kicked out," says Wilson's grandmother, Pandora. "We are hurting and we want to get through this process with strength and pride."

Court documents reveal more details about the shooting and for the first time, a motive.

Documents state that police found 76 shell casings at the scene, and Makiyah was killed by one gunshot wound to the back.

They state that Michals and Thomas are gang members of the Wellington Park crew, and the shooting was payback against the Clay Terrance neighborhood gang for a shooting that happened back in 2017.

In that shooting, Michals and two others were wounded.

Documents say that police heard from a witness that saw the getaway car caught on surveillance video parked at another apartment complex the same evening of the shooting. The witness saw Michals getting out of the car.

Court records also show that Michals and Thomas texted one each other about guns and referenced the car captured on surveillance video.

Both men will be back in court for a preliminary hearing in September.

Police say they are still looking for additional suspects in Wilson's murder. Anyone with information is asked to call police at 202-727-9099.

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