Who is Brianna Arrington? Virginia mom shot through the eye, stabbed in front of toddler son
NORFOLK, VIRGINIA: A single mother almost died after being brutally beaten, had bleach poured down her throat, shot through the eye, and stabbed several times as she tried to leave a Norfolk gang. Brianna Arrington had to endure the horrific torture in front of her two-year-old crying son, who was also dumped in the street by the suspects, according to prosecutors.
But luckily, both the mother-son duo survived after the April 2020 ordeal. “She was beaten by all of the members of the gang that were there. She was pistol-whipped. She was stabbed multiple times, possibly strangled. She’s lucky... to be alive,” prosecutor Katie Beye said at a hearing earlier this month.
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Who is Brianna Arrington?
Arrington was found covered in blood and barely breathing in the front seat of a silver Mercedes on April 24, 2020, hours after ten members of the Outlaw Bloods street gang tried their best to take her life. The accused would-be killers also took her son five miles away from her and threw him in the street. But fortunately, he was found by a sanitation worker wandering alone in a downpour. The 20-year-old single mother recalled her harrowing experience during a preliminary hearing in December 2020. At the time, she also took off her prosthetic eye to show the court her real wound. Giving a background about herself in the court, Arrington said she was doing two jobs -- one at a BP gas station and another one at Tidewater Community College -- to support herself and her child, but still could not afford a house to live.
However, six months before the tragic incident, she befriended 18-year-old Skylar “Thump” Webb through a boyfriend. Webb was a member of the Outlaw Bloods gang, who then introduced her to others. Arrington said she did not initially feel they were members of a gang. They also gave her a place to live with her son -- one of the gang’s two headquarters: an apartment in the sprawling Arlay Point apartment complex, called 'Glen Myrtle'. “I wanted to be a part of a family. A lot of us didn’t have nowhere to go, and I thought they was just looking out as family as far as helping each other. That’s all I wanted to be a part of. They gave me a place to stay. I was homeless. Me and my son didn’t have nowhere to go, and that’s where I went because I thought they were cool people,” Arrington told the court.
But soon, the mother realized they were not nice people. They were part of a gang -- the Eastside Rollin’ 20s Outlaw Bloods -- the origin of which goes decades back to the original emergence of the Bloods in South Los Angeles. Prosecutor Beye said Norfolk’s local affiliate was not well-known in 2020, but they already had a local boss -- identified as 31-year-old Brandon “Sayso” Winnegan -- who used to report directly to Bloods leadership in Los Angeles. “This is not some local homegrown set that’s popped up … (merely) calling themselves a ‘gang’. This is, in all the traditional sense, an organized criminal street gang that is actively recruiting and committing criminal acts for the benefit of the gang,” Beye added.
According to reports, Arrington was asked to join the gang in mid-April, which she declined. “I said I wanted to be part of a family. I didn’t want to be any part of any gang,” she said. But despite her hesitation, she had to join and in her initiation ceremony, she was beaten by the gang members for over 20 minutes. Arrington said everything was tough for her, she was not able to learn secret handshakes and Bloods history and traditions, and due to which she was severely punished. Arrington said after suffering so much, she decided to end it and went to Winnegan to request for her “walking papers” -- permission to leave the gang. “I said, ‘I’m not that type of person. I don’t know how to do all this. It wasn’t me, and I’m not OK with it.’ I wasn’t built for this,” she recalled during the hearing. She said in response, the local boss told her, “Don’t say that.” But things went worse after that as she was punched in the face by Winnegan. Two other gang members -- Toparshia Hodges and Asja Smith-Moore -- allegedly said she would be killed as she knew too much about them.
Arrington recounted how Xavier Walker allegedly put one of her socks in her mouth so that she couldn't scream aloud. She was then pistol-whipped in the face by Winnegan, who also choked her and poured bleach down her throat while the nine others pinned her to the ground. “He tried to drown me with bleach,” she added. The young mother was then taken to her car parked downstairs by the suspects, who put her in the driver's seat with her son in her lap. She couldn’t escape because of the non-availability of the key. She honked, but failed to get any help. “I can’t remember anything else after that. It just went black,” Arrington told the court.
Reportedly, she was then shifted to another location, where she was stabbed a number of times in the head and back. Suspects also allegedly shot her in her right eye, but the bullet missed her brain and exited through her right ear. Nearly seven hours after her son was found, police got a 911 call about a woman inside a Mercedes. The cop who arrived at the scene said, “I assumed that she was dead. I didn’t expect her to respond.” The attack left Arrington with one damaged eye and she also cannot hear out of her right ear. She revealed she was taking 28 pills in a day to manage her trauma in the aftermath of the attack. She added: “I used to wake up screaming and hollering and crying a lot, and fighting in my sleep.”
Reports said that two months after the attack, in June 2020, the ten alleged members of the Outlaw Bloods were taken into custody. They have been identified as Brendon Winnegan, Deondre Watkins, Javonne Hodges, Toparshia Hodges, Asja Smith-Moore, Sadia Brown, Ginger McAfee, Skylar Webb, Tavarrius Mitchell and Xavier Walker. They have been pressed with a number of charges, including malicious wounding; use of firearm in commission of a felony; abduction; mob assault; conspiracy to commit felony; grand larceny; gang hazing; gang participating, and gang recruitment.