Two boxers from Baltimore gym murdered within two weeks

Posted at 5:38 PM, Mar 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-28 06:47:35-04

He was a skilled fighter and an 'emerging' artist. 

That's how people in Baltimore are remembering a teen who was shot and killed yesterday morning. 

In the 21 years since Marvin McDowell opened the doors to his sacred UMAR boxing gym on North Avenue, he says he's never had a month quite like this. 

"We just try to give these kids a chance, you know, try to snatch them off the street and just show them something different," McDowell said. 

But the streets got ahold of two of his up-and-comers. Sunday, 19-year-old Victorious Swift was shot and killed. Two weeks prior, 24-year-old Montell 'Telly' Pridgett suffered the same fate.

"Wasn't nothing like that supposed to happen to him. He was a real good kid. You know, he never got in trouble. His mother was very good in the community," McDowell said. 

Swift was 'next up' according to McDowell and his mentor Ronnie Boodoo -- an all natural boxer whose skills were forming by the day. 

"He was going somewhere in life. He would come visit me at home or come visit my kids, you know, because some of them box here," Boodoo said. 

Police don't have much on who or why someone shot Swift early Sunday on Reisterstown Road, but officers believe it's likely a passerby saw what happened.

"It is a pretty busy area even during the early morning hours, so we're hoping that someone may have seen something or have some information that we can pass along," Det. Jeremy Silbert said. 

A window of hope for solving the teen's murder. 

"He was getting there, you know, he was very talented. Very dedicated. He had good skills," McDowell said. 

Passionate, gifted, and a magnetic personality serious about his craft. 

"He always smiled all the time and he had fun. He acted kind of serious from time to time, especially when he was training and we would teach him how to do the techniques and stuff. But just the type of person that he is," McDowell said.