TOWSON, Md. (WJZ)— The man who gunned down a shopper outside Towson Town Center days before Christmas will spend the rest of his life behind bars. The shooting is linked to the dangerous gang the Black Guerrilla Family, which is at the center of a prison corruption scandal.

Meghan McCorkell has more on the violent murder.

Police say this was a gang-motivated revenge killing. Now three alleged gang members have been sentenced to life in prison.

Investigators say a vicious killing outside Towson Town Center was triggerman Tyrone Brown’s initiation into the Black Guerrilla Family, or BGF.

“This was not a random act of violence. This was a gang hit,” said Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger.

Police believe the victim, Rodney Pridget, had disrespected the gang, so gang leaders Frank Williams and William Ward ordered his execution.

“By virtue of the fact that they ordered his murder, we were able to get life without parole on both of those individuals also,” Shellenberger said.

The Black Guerrilla Family is the same gang accused of taking over the Baltimore City Detention Center. Some say the group is becoming more dangerous both inside and outside prison walls.

“Same thing as on the streets. All the gangs that was there before really have switched over to BGF. Baltimore is BGF infested,” said a former inmate.

BGF first started in San Quentin prison in California in 1966 before spreading to Baltimore. Members pledge lifelong loyalty to the gang, which has a military hierarchy. Each subset has a supreme leader who rules over field generals, captains, lieutenants and soldiers.

Gang tattoos and graffiti include a dragon surrounding a prison tower, cross sabers and shotguns.

“They’ve become stronger in size. They recruit inside the institutions. Some come in as members of BGF and some other gangs, too,” said former correctional officer Bernard Ralph.

Now officials are fighting back to try and break the gang’s grip on Baltimore.

Twelve alleged gang members and 13 correctional officers have been indicted on federal charges in the prison contraband scandal.


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