Precious moments from the life of Laylah Washington, who was two years old when she was fatally shot a year ago. (Photo: De Ja S. Simpson/TSD Archives)
Tylan McCray

A Crime Stoppers tip on the one-year anniversary of the death of two-year-old Laylah Washington – and the dogged pursuit of Memphis Police Department investigators – is why a second Christmas will not pass without suspects under arrest.

Tylan McCray, 21, and Brandon McCray, 19, were jailed Friday in the fatal shooting of Laylah, who was struck by gun fire as she was riding in her mother’s white Nissan Maxima on Kirby Parkway near Castle Creek on June 11, 2017. She died two days later.

During the course of the investigation, video footage was obtained. Multiple witnesses and persons of interest were

interviewed but no arrests. On the anniversary of her death, MPD investigators held a news conference, again asking for the community’s help.

Brandon McCray

Late Saturday night, MPD’s Facebook page flashed a post with this headline: TWO SUSPECTS CHARGED IN CONNECTION WITH THE MURDER OF 2-YEAR-OLD LAYLAH WASHINGTON

The operation that led to the arrests was conducted by the Memphis Police Department’s Homicide Unit, Violent Crimes Unit and the Multi-Agency Gang Unit.

“Today, we are finally able to bring closure to this grieving family and community,” the MPD Facebook post read.

Tylan McCray admitted firing into the car carrying Laylah and Brandon McCray admitted that he was the driver of the vehicle, police said.

Tylan McCray was charged with first degree murder, criminal attempt felony to wit: first degree murder (3 counts), employing a firearm during commission of a dangerous felony, and possession of a controlled substance w/i to man/del/sell to wit: marijuana (He was arrested with 26.7 grams of suspected marijuana and THC oil).

Brandon McCray was charged with accessory after the fact – to wit: first degree murder.

“The Memphis Police Department would like to thank everyone that played a part in helping bring justice to those responsible for the senseless killing of Laylah Washington,” the MPD post read.

“This holiday season, the Washington family and all Memphians affected by this senseless killing can find some level of comfort in knowing that those responsible have been arrested and will answer for their actions.”

During a media briefing held one year to the day that Laylah died, Memphis Police Department Homicide Bureau Major Lambert Ross, recapped the deadly encounter that led to the infant’s fatal shooting.

On the anniversary of Laylah Washington’s death, MPD Homicide Bureau Major Lambert Ross made a plea for someone to come forward with a case-solving tip. (Photo: De Ja S. Simpson/TSD Archives)

Laylah’s mother, Leslie Washington, picked her two sons up from a Subway restaurant. In the parking lot, a car driven by an unidentified person nearly collided with Washington’s vehicle. Words were exchanged between the two drivers .

After Washington retrieved her two sons, she headed South on Kirby Rd. toward her home. A dark-colored car pulled up alongside and someone inside fired shots into Washington’s car, striking Laylah in the head. Washington drove to Fire Station 52 at 6675 Winchester Rd. From there, Laylah was rushed to a hospital. She was pronounced dead two days later.

A reward was announced that day, with the amount put at $20,000 plus.

At the time, Ross was asked this question: What do you want to say to the gunman?

He replied: “I’m pretty sure you didn’t intend for that to happen, but it did. And in life you have to own your mistakes and accept your consequences.”