Tru Colors CEO speaks to WWAY about double homicide at his son’s home
WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington’s Tru Colors Brewing operates mostly under the radar, hiring active gang members– often rivals– to work together to brew beer.
But there’s a larger, loftier ideal behind the brewing.
Tru Colors was started to help end gang street violence which the CEO said became intolerable to him, after the shooting death of a Wilmington teenager.
“When that 16 year old was killed 6 years ago,” Taylor said. “There was no mission, it was just me pissed off like, I can’t believe this is happening in our city, and I wanted to understand why.”
Taylor reached out to New Hanover County District Attorney Ben David, who he said helped arrange a meeting between Taylor and the top gang leaders in town.
“From there I spent 2 to 3 years just sort of hanging around with gangs getting to build trust and understanding, both ways,” he said.
Taylor established Tru Colors, in part, to give economic opportunities to active gang members, and teach them valuable business skills.
Six years after the crime that fueled Taylor’s passion, imagine his shock and dismay to hear gang member Koredreese Tyson and 21-year-old Bry-yanna Williams had been shot to death inside the home of Taylor’s son, George Taylor III on July 24.
Another woman survived the shooting, and called police to the home in Wilmington’s Providence subdivision.
“I knew Korry well, I had huge respect for him, he was a really close friend,” Taylor explained.
Tyson was a validated member of the Folk Nation: Gangster Disciples 720 gang, and no stranger to local law enforcement.
Yet Taylor said Tyson had made a decision a year and a half ago to use his influence to fight for peace.
“He was a key team player with Tru Colors in keeping the streets safe on a regular basis, ” Taylor said.
Taylor says Tyson had been living with George Taylor III for several months prior to the shooting for two reasons; first, because he had a hard time procuring housing due to his felony record.
“Secondly, he worked closely with George, and George leads what we consider our ‘street team’, so it made sense for them to be around each other as much as possible,” he explained.
Taylor is surprised and frustrated over rumors that have been circulating since the shootings at his son’s home, some reported by other local media.
“We’ve had some pretty sensationalized headlines that would lead people to believe there were criminal things or wrong things that were going on at Tru Colors, or maybe even within my family, ” Taylor said. “There’s just so many crazy stories out there from whether my son is a criminal or a coward or a killer, frankly, and those are crazy statements to be made.”
Taylor’s son was questioned and released the morning of the shootings, and his father says the two of them, father and son, were back on the streets before noon with the Tru Colors street team, making sure there was no retaliation for Tyson’s and William’s deaths.
And he has a message for people living in his son’s neighborhood.
“I understand if you live in Providence, or in that community, you have every right to be angry with us and we get it, and all we can say is ‘I’m sorry, we screwed up.’ I can’t take it back; if I could, I would.”
Three validated gang members have been arrested and are awaiting trial in connection with the July 24 shootings.
For more on Taylor’s in-depth interview with WWAY’s Donna Gregory, click on the above video.