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Charleston police have issued a warrant for the arrest of the man detectives believe killed Kelvin “KJ” Taylor earlier this month.

Police are searching for 19-year-old Dekotis Thomas, of South Charleston, Charleston Police Chief Tyke Hunt said during a brief news conference late Wednesday afternoon.

Hunt called the warrant a “bit of solemn good news to the city of Charleston, the family and friends of Kelvin “KJ” Taylor, and every one of us who mourn his loss and still feel the hurt.”

“Hopefully, this arrest, once it’s made, will bring a little bit of closure to KJ’s family, to his friends, to his teammates and all the students at Capital High School and all those that still mourn his loss,” Hunt said.

Hunt credited Chief of Detectives Tony Hazelett, Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin, the Charleston City Council and members of the Charleston community for their support, particularly thanking people who called in informational tips about Taylor’s slaying.

Hunt described detectives and other Charleston police units as “pulling out all the stops” to find the person who shot and killed Taylor, a senior at Capital High, at the corner of Central and Glenwood avenues the evening of April 7.

To that end, Hunt said, police now are seeking information about Thomas’ whereabouts.

“Any tip, any information you provide will be followed up on thoroughly,” Hunt said. “Chief Detective Hazelett and his detectives will be all over it until we can get him in custody and put it in the justice system’s hands.”

Those with information may call the Charleston Police Criminal Investigation Division, at 304-348-6480, or the Kanawha Metro 911 non-emergency line, at 304-348-8111.

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