GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - A man is in a Texas jail after being arrested for his alleged role in a 2004 murder case in West Michigan.
Andrew Scott, 27, from Lewisville, Texas has been charged with open murder and felony firearm, the Kent Metro Cold Case Team said in a news release.
"We're confident in who's responsible for murdering Tahari Braggs," said Detective Sgt. Sally Wolter, of the team. "... We are compelling people to tell the truth after so many years, and that has made a world of difference in all our cases here."
Tahari Braggs was fatally shot May 11, 2004 while he sat inside his vehicle on Alexander Street SE in Grand Rapids. Braggs, 25, stopped his vehicle to talk with people in another vehicle on the street.
"I'm not like all the other kids, and when I see other kids at school or my cousins, it brings back lots of thoughts of my father," said 8-year-old Qiarii Braggs, Tahari's daughter.
Multiple gunshots were fired from that other vehicle, striking Braggs, police said. Investigators said the shooting was the result of an altercation that occurred a day earlier between Braggs and acquaintances.
After a lengthy investigation, the case went cold.
Then in September 2009, the Kent Metro Cold Case Team reopened the case, conducted more interviews and worked closely with the Kent County Prosecutor's Office.
On Monday, cold case investigators went to Dallas, Texas where they arrested Scott. He is currently in the Dallas County Jail, pending extradition to Michigan.
Tahari's children know that nothing will bring him back, but said it helps that someone has been arrested for his murder.
"Now he can rest in peace for real," said Tahari Braggs Jr., the victim's 12-year-old son.
Added Qiarii: "My father was a very good man, and ... my father never did anything to hurt your family like you hurt mine. And when you kill someone, that affects a lot of people."
Father's Day weekend is always tough for Tahari Jr. and Qiarii, but this year, they hope it will be a little different.
"I think it's gonna be a little easier, because they found the people that killed him," Tahari Jr. said.
When their father died, he was only 5, and Qiarii wasn't even 2 yet.
"He's still looking down on us, and he's still taking care of us from up above," Tahari Jr. said. "And he loved us and he loved everybody around him."
The police always thought Scott could have done it, and so did Braggs' cousin and Tahari Jr.'s mother.
"I have no remorse for this person today," said Latashia Bennett, Tahari Jr.'s mother. "I'm sorry. I have no remorse. God is going to deal with him. When I found out the news, I went out to the grave and said, you can now rest in peace."
"It's been very hard raising a fatherless child. It's not easy. He have his good days and he has his bad days. The closure is over. I know we cannot bring him back, but we have some peace."
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