Deputies seize cell phone of TRU Colors executive in double murder investigation
NEW HANOVER COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - Search warrants obtained by WECT shed new light on the double murder investigation connected to TRU Colors Brewing Company. On July 24, two people were shot and killed at the home of the brewery’s Chief Operating Officer, George Taylor III. A third person was shot but survived the attack.
Deputies were dispatched to the home in the Providence neighborhood off of Middle Sound Loop Road at 5:44 am, after receiving a 911 call from the shooting victim who survived. They located her in the home, suffering from two gunshot wounds to the shoulder and wrist. She was transported by ambulance to the hospital. Deputies continued to search the home and located the bodies of Koredreese Tyson and Bri-yanna Taylor, who had also been shot.
“Deputies then located George Taylor III inside of the home hiding in a bathroom,” court documents read. “It was determined that Mr. Taylor was the owner of the home and Kordreese Tyson lived in an upstairs bedroom. Mr. Taylor stated that he was awoken sometime after 5:00 a.m. by sound of four to five gunshots. Upon hearing the gunshots, he retrieved his shotgun as protection and hid in the bathroom until deputies arrive and announced themselves.”
“Mr. Taylor stated during the investigation that he had Nest cameras connect to his cell phone.... Mr. Taylor agreed to allow detectives to look at the camera footage on his cell phone, but a short time later, revoked consent to do so. Mr. Taylor stated to detectives during interviews that he had made phone calls from his cell phone to one of the deceased subjects, Kordreese Tyson, during the time that the shooting took place inside his home,” the probable cause affidavit filed to obtain a search warrant continues.
“Mr. Taylor was the only person found inside the residence... that was not harmed. Mr. Taylor had barricaded himself in a bathroom with a shotgun and a handgun, and admitted to detectives that he called Kordreese Tyson and [another man] when he heard gunshots, but did not call 911.... Mr. Taylor stated that he heard the front door open around 0500 hours and then heard gunshots,” the affidavit says.
“Mr. Taylor had recently given Koredreese Tyson 30 days to move out of the residence. Mr. Taylor state that this was because of Koredreese’s recent erratic behavior. He was concerned that Koredreese had been partying a lot with gang members and drinking a lot. He also said that the handgun found in his bathroom was one that he found about a week ago in an upstairs bedroom where multiple gang members were living,” the document states.
It was submitted by investigators as grounds to seize Taylor’s cell phone. They believed it may contain evidence relating to the murder, the identity of the suspects, or co-conspirators who committed the crime. The search warrant was granted.
TRU Colors Brewery employs rival gang members with the hope of bringing them together to end gang violence. Employees are encouraged by the company to stay in their gangs, so they will maintain their influence with the gang. After the shooting, community members raised concerns about the wisdom of that business model, saying they felt it was actually increasing gang violence.
The New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office hosted a news conference on Thursday to announce the the arrest of three people charged in the July 24 killings. Raquel Adams, Omonte Bell, and Dyrell Green are now behind bars, and are all charged with two counts of first-degree murder, one count of attempted first-degree murder, and felony conspiracy. Authorities say they were members of a rival gang to Tyson’s gang, and this shooting is believed to be gang-related.
During the news conference, District Attorney Ben David touched on similar concerns about TRU Colors encouraging employees to stay in their gangs.
“I’ve heard some people talk about whether it’s possible to renounce violence without renouncing gang affiliation. Experience has taught me that’s not possible. It’s like trying to separate the water from the wet. The truth is people are being targeted for their status of being in validated gangs. Not just as individuals anymore. So even if you are sincere in your reform and wanting to get out of that violent lifestyle, without renouncing the gang at that same time, we believe that violence will continue,” David explained.
George Taylor, the CEO of TRU Colors Brewery and father of George Taylor III, has declined repeated requests for interviews since the deadly shooting several weeks ago. He did respond in writing to our latest request Wednesday night, following the murder arrests.
He said TRU Colors will no longer give interviews to WECT.
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