A Frederick man pleaded guilty Tuesday in connection with his role in a shooting at Frederick High School.
Brandon Earl Tyler, 22, was charged as the gunman in the Feb. 4 shooting during a basketball game in which two teens were wounded. He pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree assault.
Frederick County Circuit Judge Scott Lawrence Rolle sentenced Tyler to 12 years in prison. If he violates his five-year probation after release, he could face an additional sentence of up to 18 years. While on probation, he will not be allowed near public schools or the people who were shot.
Prosecutors have said Tyler told Chandler Tristan Davenport, the other person involved in the shooting, to go into the Frederick High School gym to see if members of the rival Sagner apartments gang were there.
Davenport spotted rival gang members in the gym, and when they left, he walked out behind them, according to Assistant State’s Attorney David R. Callahan.
Some of the group put on masks, apparently preparing for a fight, he said. When Davenport left the gym, he punched one of the Sagner gang members. Tyler then came to the area, according to court records, and fired a .380-caliber handgun seven times at a crowd of people near the gym doors.
Two teenage boys were wounded in the shooting. One of them declined to cooperate with the investigation, Callahan said.
The gun used in the shooting has not been recovered, Callahan said, so witness testimony was key to the state’s case. As part of a plea agreement, Davenport was to testify as a state’s witness in Tyler’s trial.
Davenport pleaded guilty Aug. 26 to two counts of reckless endangerment.
“To describe this incident as dangerous ... is an understatement,” Rolle said. “If not but for a couple inches, this would have been a homicide.”
Tyler’s attorney, Margaret Teahan, told Rolle that Tyler had been working and had strong family support.
Several members of Tyler’s family were in the courtroom for the plea hearing. A small child waved and smiled at Tyler when he entered. His father and sister spoke on his behalf, saying he was a good man who needed to get his life on track.
Davenport’s sentencing is set for Jan. 6. He faces a maximum of five years in prison and a $5,000 fine for each charge of reckless endangerment.