BALTIMORE (WJZ) — In a city where gun violence has been prevalent this year, there’s a sign above the ring at Umar Boxing that reads “Put the guns down… Put the gloves up.”
This is where rising star Montell “Telly” Pridgett trained.
“He is surely going to be missed here,” says the boxing club’s founder Marvin McDowell, who has coached Pridgett for the past 10 years.
“These kids out here don’t know how to give themselves a chance,” McDowell says, “and they don’t have anyone encouraging them to give themselves a chance.”
Early Wednesday morning, 24-year-old Pridgett was shot on Pennsylvania Avenue.
“We understand that he was involved in an altercation, that altercation became physical,” says Baltimore City Police Detective, Donny Moses. “With his skill, he probably had the upper hand, the suspect in this case felt the need to do the dumbest thing possible.”
Pridgett was rushed to the University of Maryland Hospital before being transferred to Shock Trauma, where he died.
“He was on the right road, he wasn’t a bad kid, he worked, he trained,” says McDowell. “He just got caught up in something dumb.”
Fellow boxer and Baltimore native, Gervonta “Tank” Davis posted a shot of a text exchange the two had, encouraging each other to do well, with a note saying “I wake up from a call saying my friend got killed … RIP.”
Pridgett was working on his GED and was fighting his way to the top.
“It’s a shame because he had so much potential,” says McDowell. “He could have been the next one, he could have been the next world champ, from Baltimore.”
A vigil will be held for Pridgett on Friday night at 6:30 p.m. at Umar Boxing, on 1217 W. North Avenue.
Police are urging anyone with information to call Metro Crime Stoppers, at (866) 7-LOCK-UP.