ARREST EXPECTED IN KILLING

ROBERT GAVIN STAFF WRITER
Section: Capital Region,  Page: B7

Date: Tuesday, May 3, 2011

ALBANY -- Investigators late Monday were zeroing in on a suspect in the death of 17-year-old Tyler Rhodes in Hoffman Park on Saturday. An arrest is expected, according to people with knowledge of the case.


City police do not believe the street killing is tied to the later stabbing of a 17-year-old in West Hill that night.


Rhodes, a junior at Albany High School, was stabbed about 7 p.m. at Hoffman Avenue and Corlaer Street, near Second Avenue. He was taken to Albany Medical Center Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.


Nearly two hours later, another 17-year-old male was stabbed in the abdomen on the 300 block of Second Street for what police have described as non-life-threatening injuries.


Asked if there was any link between the incidents, Deputy Chief Steve Reilly said, "There's no connection at all that I'm aware of."


Rhodes of Washington Avenue, a popular student who ran with the track and field team, told his mother he planned to hang out Saturday in the park, near where his family once lived. The mother, Stacey Rhodes, later told the Times Union her son used to return to the area to ride bikes and see old neighbors.


Rhodes' death was believed to due to a "beef." He was not involved in the "uptown-downtown" gang warfare that has pitted one side of the city against another and claimed several lives in the city in recent years, police said.


In November 2008, a Times Union article featured Rhodes when he performed an anti-violence show -- "More Rhymes, Less Crimes" -- at the Palace Theatre, which was partly sponsored by Albany County District Attorney David Soares' office.


At the time, Rhodes recalled a time an assailant shot out of a car on Southern Boulevard.


He was among 14 Albany County students who rapped, sang or read poetry to condemn street violence.