The Wilmington, NC community was shocked over the weekend by news of a double homicide at the home TRU Colors executive George Taylor III, a brewery committed to ending gang violence through economic opportunity.
On July 25, police responded to a call from Taylor’s home and discovered the bodies of Koredreese “Korry” Robert Tyson, 29, and Bri-yanna Emily Williams, 21. According to reports from the sheriff’s office, Tyson was allegedly connected with a gang.
The call was made by an unnamed third victim who was shot in the chest and hospitalized.
Responding to this sad incident, Taylor’s father, George Taylor released this statement which we’ve reproduced in an edited form…
“Yesterday I lost a friend to violence. It’s unfortunately not the first time I’ve lost someone I cared about to violence, and each subsequent loss has weighed heavier as I see so much potential in these young men and women lost forever.
Our whole team knows this, both affiliated and not. These incredible and selfless people are dedicated to driving peace on our city’s streets. And to that end, they have undoubtedly saved countless lives.
Yesterday morning, around 5am while everyone was sleeping, a gunman entered my son’s house and killed Korry and Bri-yanna. And another young woman was seriously injured. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you much about Bri-yanna, as I didn’t have the privilege of knowing her. But I do know that she was a young woman with her whole life ahead of her. It is tragic that she and so many others have lost their lives like this, and it is something that should anger everyone in our city.
Unlike Bri-yanna, I did know Korry well. Very well. And while he had a past, he had since committed his life to peace and lifting his friends and community. Korry was a friend, a leader at TRU Colors, and a critical person in saving lives on our streets.
TRU Colors is a fairly large brewery with a tightly integrated social mission to stop street violence and bring people together. To achieve this mission, we hire civilians, rival gang members, and others who have influence on the streets. Most of our employees are in a gang and remain in their gang, although this is not a requirement.
Our approach to stopping violence is based on our belief that violence is driven by economic issues and societal exclusion.
Therefore, any viable solution must be inclusive and economically focused. To that end, we pay a livable wage (minimum is $37,500), provide company paid health insurance, and grant equity in the company through stock options.
Lastly, I hope you will show our team a little grace and reach out to gain understanding before drawing conclusions. Our team has not only taken on the difficult challenge of launching a large and complex business, but they are also on the frontlines every day fighting longstanding social problems like violence, divisiveness, and poverty. There is no playbook for this, and it is beyond difficult.
We will never forget Korry, or any of the others we have lost. Their dedication to the community and a brighter future will live on and further strengthen our commitment to fighting violence and uniting our city.”
TRU Colors- CEO
On April 13, Molson Coors announced that it had bought into TRU Colors for an undisclosed sum and that the company is serving as a strategic partner to assist the company with distribution strategy, brand positioning, supplier relationships, marketing, and advertising consultation, and product formulation.
Responding to the incident Molson Coors released this short statement of support…
“We are deeply saddened by this weekend’s tragedy, and have been in contact with George Taylor and the TRU Colors team. We have passed along our condolences to the families of the victims and remain as committed as ever to TRU Colors and their mission.”
To date, TRU Colors has not sold any beer. The company recently announced it was postponing its launch of “TruLight,” a 95-calories lager, “that was supposed to begin distribution in North Carolina two weeks ago,” according to the Daily. The company’s website also states its taproom is launching next month.
The New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office is still investigating this incident and asks anyone with information to contact them.