BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The murder of McKenzie Elliott rocked all of Baltimore, and nearly three years later, a local gang is now linked to the toddler’s killing.
The “Old York Money Gang” is accused of terrorizing the same neighborhood Elliott lived in.
Authorities say the gang was known for murder, robbery, drugs, and doing whatever they needed to protect their territory.
Some say they’ve been hesitant for years to speak out. Afraid of what would happen next.
The streets of Waverly are known as Old York Money Gang’s grounds.
It’s the same area 3-year-old McKenzie Elliott was gunned down in nearly three years ago.
“That got everyone’s attention,” said one Waverly resident. “Everyone in the city actually woke up.”
On Wednesday, seven members of the Old York Money Gang were indicted. 28-year-old Terrell Plummer was charged with Elliott’s murder.
Police say the toddler got caught in the crossfire of a turf war.
“Of course, when they get into arguments and violence kicks off, they don’t care who gets caught in the middle,” said Donny Moses, with Baltimore PD.
Authorities call OYMG a violent drug trafficking organization known to defend their territory and prey on outsiders.
“People tend to feel these neighborhood, local gangs aren’t as dangerous, because they don’t carry national recognition. They have to stop thinking that,” said gang expert Tony Avendorph. “When someone comes in and tries to make money off their turf, they react immediately. They don’t wait.”
Those who live in their stomping grounds are scared to speak out or even be seen.
“It’s not comfortable, but we gotta live somewhere,” said one Waverly resident who didn’t want to be identified. “They scared to get hurt, scared someone is going to do something to them.”
It’s a mindset that allows a gang like OYMG to take control.
“They will remind you of where the children go to school, of where your wife or husband may work,” said Avendorph.
While McKenzie Elliott’s murder has now turned into a major takedown, many wonder, is it enough to bring peace to Waverly?
“They got seven of them. Like i said, that will put a pretty big dent in the operation, but it’s just a matter of time before someone comes in and fills the void,” said one Waverly resident.
That’s a statement police echoed, saying there’s always members in the community waiting to step up and fill those roles.