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Dan Rodricks

Dan Rodricks: The feds finally catch up with David Warren and charge him in Bryan McKemy’s death | COMMENTARY

Bryan McKemy was working on the renovation of a house in northeast Baltimore when he was fatally shot. (McKemy Family)

Now the rest of the story can be told. With the unsealing of a federal indictment this week, I can make a connection that was not there, at least officially, four years ago: Authorities believe David Warren, an alleged hit man associated with the Black Guerilla Family, was involved in the murder of Bryan McKemy, a bystander who was remodeling a home in Northeast Baltimore when he was shot.

McKemy’s parents, Angie and Scott McKemy of Sparrows Point, will take some satisfaction in seeing that their son’s killer might not get away with murder. There was a time when they feared he would.

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Scott McKemy can tell you how many days passed between the day of his son’s senseless death in August 2018 and the day last week when a federal agent told him that Warren and an accomplice had been indicted: “One thousand five hundred and ninety one.”

“I feel relieved,” he adds, “that someone is finally going to be charged with Bryan’s death, and I was told when the feds go after someone, they get him, that their cases take a long time, but they are airtight.”

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The shooting occurred on a Tuesday afternoon in the rear of a house on Woodlea Avenue. McKemy and a co-worker were there to install trim around a door. Two men emerged in the backyard with guns. They were there to kill the owner, a suspected drug dealer apparently in the process of flipping the property, but instead they ended up killing McKemy and wounding the other worker.

Two months later, when I reported on McKemy’s unsolved murder, I was unable to name Warren as the alleged shooter. While police suspected his involvement, he had not been charged.

A short time after the shooting, Baltimore police arrested Warren on unrelated charges and confiscated a handgun, a 40-caliber Glock. A ballistics test suggested the gun was related to the McKemy homicide. But that wasn’t enough to make a case. A detective had no witnesses who could identify Warren as one of the gunmen.

So, to the profound frustration of McKemy’s parents, the case remained open, the homicide unsolved.

Warren, meanwhile, had become notorious in Baltimore. Starting at age 14, he had been charged several times with violent crimes, including murder, but had mostly avoided convictions. I tracked the cases against him, simultaneously fascinated and appalled that a young man once publicly identified as a “trigger puller” by the Baltimore police commissioner could escape punishment so many times.

The law finally caught up to Warren in Baltimore County Circuit Court in October 2019 when he pleaded guilty to charges related to the shooting of a man named Jonus Ben in Randallstown a year earlier. Ben had survived nine shots to his body. A key development in the police investigation was the discovery of the Glock in Warren’s car. A ballistics test connected the Glock to the Randallstown shooting.

Now we’ve learned from a federal grand jury that David Warren had been hired to kill the drug dealer who owned the house on Woodlea Avenue. A federal indictment of Warren along with Davante Harrison (the Baltimore rapper known as YGG Tay) and four other men provided a reason for the shooting.

The feds say Warren had been hired by Harrison to kill a rival, identified in the indictment only as R. Br. In an Instagram post, this R. Br. had accused Harrison of cooperating with police in their investigation of a burglary at the rapper’s home five years earlier. (Apparently, that was not cool.) Harrison, in an Instagram post of his own, denied the allegation and threatened retaliation. That back-and-forth in social media provided evidence for feds investigating Harrison and others for their association with the Black Guerilla Family.

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R. Br. owned the house on Woodlea Avenue that was undergoing renovations. The indictment says that, on Aug. 7, 2018, Warren and two associates went to the house and opened fire. The indictment identifies the man who was killed as “B.M.,” the initials of Bryan McKemy.

Warren apparently had a habit of shooting people who were not his intended targets, according to the indictment. On Memorial Day weekend in 2016, he was charged with shooting five people, though only one, a rival drug dealer, was his intended target. (A jury acquitted Warren after the state’s lead witness gave contradictory testimony.)

In April 2018, according to the federal indictment, Warren had been hired to kill a rival of Harrison identified as R. Be. Not finding R. Be. at home, Warren shot and killed the man’s mother and sister. Harrison paid him for the murders, the indictment says.

Details in the charging document explain a lot of the shootings in Baltimore — the heroin and cocaine dealing and rivalries that develop, the power of revenge and the desire for retaliation, the depth of depravity among violent offenders, their easy access to firearms and the frequent use of guns to settle scores old and new.

The indictment also serves as a reminder of the important role of the U.S. Attorney’s Office and federal agencies in working with city police to get violent offenders off the streets.

As a result, David Warren, who was sentenced to 10 years in a Maryland prison for the Randallstown shooting, now faces a long list of federal charges with the possibility of a very long time behind the walls.


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