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UPDATE: 4 Arrested in Towson Town Center Shooting

Baltimore County police charged a group of men with Dec. 19 murder of Rodney Vest Pridget.

UPDATE (4:45 p.m.)—Baltimore County police have charged four men in the December .

Rodney Vest Pridget, 19, was , just outside of . Police found his body lying on the exterior sidewalk outside with multiple gunshot wounds, according to a news release from the police.  

Detectives believe Tyrone Chester Brown Jr., 19, of the 3900 block of Lowndes Avenue in Baltimore gunned down Pridget.

Frank Theodore Williams, 31, of the 2900 block of Lakebrook Circle in Halethorpe, Jermell Monte Brandon, 35, of the 700 block of Belgian Avenue in Baltimore and William Ward III, 44, of the 600 block of Cator Avenue, also of Baltimore, and Brown, were all charged with first-degree murder and the use of a handgun in the commission of a felony, according to court documents. 

"One of the four suspects is in the mall, spots the victim, picks up his phone and calls his three buddies who are down off of York Road in Baltimore City. The other three drive up to the mall," said Baltimore County police spokeswoman Elise Armacost. (Continue reading below for a timeline of the events leading up to the murder.) 

Three of the suspects were arrested Wednesday. Ward was arrested Thursday.

“Our homicide detectives have been working tirelessly on this case since the night it happened,” police Chief Jim Johnson said in a news release. “The footage from the video cameras in and around the mall was critical in helping them solve this case. These arrests demonstrate the value of the legislation passed by the county several years ago requiring these cameras in shopping centers.”

"While the victim was clearly targeted, the reason for the murder has not yet been determined," according to the release.

Police were able to recreate the incidents leading up to the murder by stringing together surveillance footage from several hundred vantage points in the mall, according to charging documents obtained by Patch.

The suspects are being held at the Baltimore County Detention Center.

The killing was the first murder at the mall since 2005, when William Bassett, a St. Paul's School teacher and administrator, was gunned down in a garage, the victim of a botched robbery. The incident prompted a 2005 County Council bill requiring that shopping centers set up cameras covering at least 75 percent of their outdoor space.

The Timeline: 

Brandon, one of the suspects, entered the Downtown Locker Room with his cousin at 5:11 p.m. Minutes later, Brandon saw Rodney Pridget and his girlfriend enter the store. 

Brandon called Williams, who was in East Baltimore at the time, according to the charging documents. This was the first of several calls over the afternoon as Williams drove to the Towson Town Center. 

Williams was seen on camera driving and parking a burgundy-colored vehicle in the parking garage near Macy's. A passenger, referred to as "UNC" (later identified as William Ward) in the charging documents, was seen exiting the vehicle, along with Williams, and entering Macy's. 

"A phone call from Williams prompts the alleged shooter Tyrone Brown to exit the car and walk into Macy's," the charging documents state.

The suspects coordinated a meet up in the mall, at the bottom of the stairs near the food court. The three walked together toward Nordstrom where Pridget and his girlfriend were. 

Brandon and "UNC" then began following "a short distance" behind the victim and his girlfriend through Nordstrom. Brown followed a short distance behind his alleged conspirators. 

"They're not necessarily all in a group. They scatter a bit, but they're all four tracking the victim," Armacost said.

Pridget and his girlfriend were seen on camera walking out of the store toward Goucher Boulevard. 

"Just as the victim is seen walking to the left, defendant Brandon and UNC approach the exit doors. UNC turns back toward the shooter [Brown], says something to him, and points to the direction where the victim just walked," the documents state. 

At this time, Brandon waited inside Nordstrom within eyesight of the exit doors. 

Pridget's girlfriend said Brown came up behind them and shot Pridget several times. The gunmen then turned and ran back inside the mall toward Nordstrom. 

The three suspects walked the entire length of the mall before exiting. Brandon and UNC separated from Brown and left the mall together in the same vehicle. 

Tyler Waldman contributed to this report. Stay with Patch for more details.

Harry Callahan February 02, 2012 at 10:03 PM
@L.Perry, I agree with you about the comments that M. Sullivan made about the race of the victim and the alleged perps. If you read any of my other postings you have probably surmised that I am not black. But I do have many black friends and they have teenage sons. I fear for their safety every day because it seems that the thugs who exist in our community (both inside and outside of Baltimore City) have little or no respect for the lives of young black men (whether the prospective victim is a criminal or not). I have the feeling that the thugs' lack of care for the lives of their victims make the sons of my black friends more of a target than white teenagers because it does seem that everyone wants to write off the lives of young black men as worthless. And, if their lives are worthless, then the thugs presume that the police will not investigate such crimes as enthusiastically as they would a crime committed against a white victim. I can assure you, and all other black readers, that this is ABSOLUTELY UNTRUE.
Harry Callahan February 02, 2012 at 10:21 PM
After doing a quick review of the four individuals who are charged in this case, I almost fell out of my chair when I saw that only one of them has much of a criminal record. And that record went back to his last offense in 2002!. One of these guys didn't have ANY record on file...not even a traffic offense! Even the deceased had only one criminal charge for theft of less than $300.00 and that was placed on the STET docket (basically meaning that no action was taken). This makes the entire incident very curious indeed. When I first heard about this case, I thought that it might be a drug deal or armed robbery gone bad. But if it was, then it seems like it was new to each of these individuals. Who knows what happened? Perhaps the alleged gunman had a firearm and he wanted to see if it would really kill. This trial will be an interesting one to watch.
Heather February 03, 2012 at 01:26 AM
@ L.Perry & M.Sullivan- I'm white & pretty new to Towson & no matter how you slice it, M.Sullivan your comments are totally racist & your kidding yourself if you think its just an "observation"
Needaname February 03, 2012 at 02:14 AM
I am curious to hear the explanation as to WHY THREE OLD GUYS are hanging out with a teenager. I would expect/predict teenagers acting crazy but those other men should have known better - and stopped that kid at least.
Needaname February 03, 2012 at 02:14 AM
Those two are old Trolls. You can shake your head and move on.
Am-Black-So-WHAT? February 03, 2012 at 03:47 AM
M. Sullivan! Jump off a bridge if you please. New flash!!!! African-Americans are here to stay so deal with it. The issue here should be about the crime and what means we as citizens could use to protect ourselves against ANY VIOLENT CRIMINALS and not race. Towson Mall is one of my favorite malls in Baltimore County and to think that such a thing could happen is mind blowing!!! My prayers goes out to this family.
M. Sullivan February 03, 2012 at 04:56 AM
Was it really any surprise to anyone that the perpetrators were black? It's a well known fact that the cities with the highest murder rates are majority black (i.e. Detroit, Atlanta, D.C., Philadelphia, Baltimore, etc.). So, call me a racist if you like. It's the usual defense when you can't accept the reality.
towsonite February 03, 2012 at 05:20 AM
Did anyone actually ever think that the murderers in this case were not African American? M is right.
K Blue February 03, 2012 at 05:39 AM
First, bravo to these detectives. Second, I hope that this investigation, these arrests and the upcoming trials afford the family of this murder victim some amount of relief over the loss of this young man regardless of any history he may or may not have had. Last, since this horrible murder exposed the fact that the mall does not have cameras in certain locations, I would like to know if the mall has installed any additional cameras or what the criteria are for camera placement at malls of this size. I found it odd from the beginning that the victim was murdered in a location where there wasn't a camera, i.e., did the perpetrators know where the cameras were and weren't, or was this merely a coincidence?
M. Sullivan February 03, 2012 at 05:56 AM
L.Perry You are correct that more murders are committed by whites than by blacks and more whites are on welfare than blacks. This is brought up all the time by those who try to avoid the truth. However, let's look at percentages. Of the 313 million peoplen in the U.S. 64% are white and 12% are black. Yet, while 46% of all homocides are committed by whites, 52% are committed by blacks. Blacks, who are 1/8 of the U.S. population, are committing more than HALF of all the murders. Additionally, 94% of these murders are black-on-black crimes. I am not making these numbers up. Given these statistics, how can it be racist when I am not surprised that these suspects are black? Regarding your welfare comment: Once again, you are correct when looking at the absolute numbers of white and black on welfare. However, once again, while blacks and whites each compose 40% of the welfare rolls, blacks are only 12% of the U.S. population. So, 1/8 of the population is using 40% of the welfare. I won't even address the percentages of the prison population. These are the documented statistics that I am not making up. They can only be changed by you. You can call me a racist if you like. That's the easy out for you. Perceptions are formed by a basis in reality.
M. Sullivan February 03, 2012 at 06:07 AM
Did you forget about last year's murder in the Towson Mall parking garage? Frankly, I'm surprised there aren't more murders there.
Tyler Waldman February 03, 2012 at 11:42 AM
Though the actual act was not caught on surveillance, from what we're told, many of the suspects' movements were caught on camera. Looking for the victim, communicating, going back to their cars, etc. Per the bill from a couple years back, police say there were cameras installed in the parking garage, and those cameras reportedly spotted the suspects.
johnny towson February 03, 2012 at 12:03 PM
... but dead is dead. Videoing life make understanding history easier. If the mall really cared, if the administration really cared, and really wanted to make a difference and help us feel and become safer, there is no substitute for policing and human presence. There is still an appalling lack of noticeable policing at the mall and walking Towson. It's a charade. Until we stop excepting the excuse that "the political reality is that "it" can't be done," nothing meaningful will be done. The fact is, "it" can be done. And the actual reality is that we have become apathetic to communities without structure and leadership; It is a matter of lack of will and protecting the status quo.
K Blue February 03, 2012 at 03:28 PM
Thanks for the reply, but I was wondering if the mall has installed additional cameras in those outside common areas since this event. I have no doubt that the cameras were instrumental in enabling the police to identify the suspects and track their movements leading up to this crime (even though they didnt capture the actual murder on camera), but my question goes more to preventive efforts by the mall. I have not noticed any additional cameras nor have I noticed any additional security personnel in the parking areas (garage or the Fairmount Avenue side of the mall). The bill requires them in certain locations, but that is not to say that the mall couldn't do more than the bill requires if they elected to do so. I am wondering if the mall has decided to do more in light of this murder or if they have made the decision to chalk this murder up to an aberration and leave things as they are.
johnny towson February 03, 2012 at 03:36 PM
Great information: Old fashioned police work solved this crime. After the perps were identified by investigative work, the perps were then found on film; NOT the other way around. "If we would have known who they were and what they looked like, don't you think we would have posted their profiles all over the place?" CONFIRMED. This business about cameras, legislation and Kevin Kamenetz was shameless political rhetoric. Those cameras no more solved the crime than the hand cuffs made the arrest.
K Blue February 03, 2012 at 03:43 PM
Unless I am misreading this article, the detectives first pieced together the crime by examining the activities of the victim and the perpetrators via cameras located inside the mall (which weren't part of the bill) and then used the cameras outside the mall (which were part of the bill) to tie them all together. I agree that the emphasis on the bill and the outside cameras is overdone. The detectives and the mall surveillance team should be getting most of the credit, not the outside cameras or the Council which approved the bill for outside cameras.
johnny towson February 03, 2012 at 03:53 PM
No you are not misreading the article. It states exactly what is described in the report. And does so very well. What is missing from the report and subsequently from the article, is that the police work solved this crime, used the video footage to collaborate good police work, and that the brass used the police work to plug a piece of legislation instead of the people and communities that helped do the work. It is shameless that the police chief chose to use his briefing time to give credit to politics rather than the men and women that help keep me safe. The video cameras outside of the mall were practically useless until after the crime was solved.
Calm down February 03, 2012 at 05:53 PM
Johnny (isn't for) Towson- you are a serial Republican Kevin hater. It must kill you when the guy does well, doesn't it?
hmj February 03, 2012 at 06:29 PM
Good to see more of these thugs headed for jail. No need to tolerate criminals or to make excuses for their outrageous behavior. Dyfunctional families continue to produce sick and dangerous people.
Harry Callahan February 04, 2012 at 12:38 AM
There was a story in today's fishwrapper (also known as the Baltimore Sun to some people) stating that the "victim" in this incident was the only one of four individuals convicted in a home-invasion robbery of an apartment a few months ago. According to the story in the Sun, during that robbery (quoting from today's Sun article): "IN September Pridget was sentenced to 3 years supervised probation stemming from an August 2010 incident... He had pleaded guilty to second -degree assault and fourth-degree burglary... Pridget was part of a group of 7 to 10 young men who robbed a man in the 4600 block of York Road...The men asked the victim if he had "a problem" with one of the members of their group...assaulted the man, threatening to "shoot up" the place..." Sounds to me like, if this were true, that the victim of the late Mr. Pridget's earlier escapade might have been involved in this incident in some form of twisted vigilante justice. The bottom line here is that 5 criminals (the late Mr. Pridget) and these four imbeciles are now off the street and will be off the street for an extended period of time. The bad news is that our tax dollars will be going to pay for their trial, incarceration, and care for these lowlifes, er I mean, budding rap artists, future NBA players, and music producers each of whom was JUST on the brink of turning their lives around. Tempus fugit, momento morti.
John L. February 04, 2012 at 07:30 PM
I must applaud the efforts of the Detectives who worked this case. It took many hours of viewing videos tapes and putting all the movements together. They are to be commended for a job well done. (Politics & race aside, of course.)
Doug Donovan February 04, 2012 at 10:45 PM
A comment by M. Sullivan was removed for violating our terms of use, which allow us to delete comments that "promote racism, bigotry ..." While the ensuing conversation was civil, the initial comment did not adhere to the terms of use everyone agrees to when signing up. Thanks for using Patch.
M. Sullivan February 05, 2012 at 08:30 AM
Mr. Donovan, As you might imagine, I disagree with your reasons for removing my initial comment which started this discussion. It was merely an observation based on past history and the statistics which I quoted later in the discussion. Part of the problem with the media today is this "head in the sand" attitude where, if race is mentioned, and it is at all disparaging to certain special races, then the screaming of "racism" begins. Most times when a crime is reported and a description of the criminal is given, the race is not mentioned. How helpful is that? This endless tiptoeing around this subject due to the fear from mob reaction results in failure to shine the light on the problems. On the other hand, if I had made the same statement and used the word "white" instead of "black", I guarantee the comment would not have been removed. Such is the state of the media today.
M. Sullivan February 05, 2012 at 10:07 AM
Additionally, Mr. Donovan, I fail to see such diligence in enforcing the terms of use on your part regarding a number of comments filled with profanity and threats, which happened to be made by African-American readers of the Patch. Selective enforcement? Fear? Racism? Or, is this just the liberal bias endemic to reporters for washed-up rags such as the Baltimore Sun? Odd that you felt the need to point out in the forum why my comment was removed when, normally, there is just a line that "comment was deleted". I envy your power of censorship.
ZIG February 24, 2012 at 06:16 PM
You properly pegged Mr Sullivan. Good for you!
M. Sullivan February 24, 2012 at 06:36 PM
Little late to the party aren't we, Zeigenfuse? Did they just let you out?
Rich March 02, 2012 at 05:26 PM
Glad to hear these guys were finally arrested for this committing this tragic crime.
Moses LawFlav September 02, 2012 at 12:39 AM
Instead of railing against us "racist, oppressive whites", how about projecting that anger onto those who actually deserve it? It's not whitey's fault that black men are responsible for almost all of the area violent robberies, gang affiliations, murders, etc, and as a black and educated person, you should know that it is possible to rise above one's station in life. Racism still exists because a very large subset of the black population is choosing to live in self-imposed ignorance in poverty. People come to this country from 3rd world dumps, barely able to speak English, and end up working hard, prospering, and sending their children to college. Meanwhile, the NAACP, rather than pushing their people towards education and accomplishment, file lawsuits so that blacks who are unqualified for positions and/or promotions (or fail standardized tests), are able to have the standards lowered, claiming racial/cultural bias. MEANWHILE, Abdul and Siddhartha and Yu Chen have managed to take the same tests and do even better than white kids. So, stop your whining about racial profiling and get your people to stop committing all overwhelming number of violent crimes in this area. If I see a group of young black males coming towards me, I will cross the street in a heart beat. If that makes me a racist, so be it. Whose fault is that? Black males. Not the white boogeyman, so stop trying to cast blame where it doesn't belong.
star September 06, 2012 at 02:51 PM
These Guy are not bad people they were hurting from one of there family members getting hurt you dont see what that Guy did frist if he would not started this maybe this wouldnt have not happen to him
Nikki February 23, 2013 at 05:43 AM
When I saw this on the news that was my first thought ......These old never was dudes are old enough to be his father! Take a look at what eachone is teaching one wow!!!!!!

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