RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Several gang members have opened up to 8News from behind bars. Damian King said he is currently an “inactive” member of the Bloods street gang.
“At the end of the day it’s engraved in my body, you know what I’m saying?” King said. “I’ve been here for years. I’m known so you see me on the streets, they see me on the streets they know who I am, you know what I’m saying, there is no getting around it.”
When asked how high up in the gang he is, he said that answer is not to be known.
“I wasn’t at the bottom, you know what I’m saying, I wasn’t at the bottom,” King said.
King said now he wants to keep others, especially young children, from going the same road he did — one riddled with violence.
“They told us we was just going to squash the beef, you know what I’m saying, you can’t beef and get money, that was the ultimate thing, you can’t beef and get money,” King said. “We were just going to pull up, shoot the fat one get it over with, that’s just one on one fight, fist up.”
But their plan didn’t go as planned.
“It wasn’t but about five of them but then 10-15 of them came out of the cut so that’s when the weapons came out and I got the malicious wounding charge for stabbing,” King said. “I stabbed an opposition, a Crip.”
King has served time in prisons reserved only for the country’s most violent offenders, including Red Onion State Prison where the beltway Sniper Lee Boyd Malvo currently resides.
King said he wish he could turn back the hands of time and that family problems drew him to the gang life.
“As an adolescent, I had trouble inside my household growing up,” King said. “Without having a proper father figure or a positive guidance in my life I went to what was my surroundings.”
King was sentenced to 20 years after the fight where he stabbed the Crips gang member, he had all but 7 years suspended.
King said he got jumped by other blood members in prison and when he retaliated they sent him to Red Onion Prison in Wise County, Va. That violation also extended that 7 years to more than 10 years.
King said what drew him to the gang was the brotherhood, someone always “watching his back.” But that the brotherhood crumbles when trouble comes knocking.
“At the end of the day the same people that I felt like I had a bond of comradery with, were the same individuals told on me,” King said.
Even while King is inactive, he will be the first to tell you the saying of “Blood in, Blood out,” is a way of life.
“How you going to get out, there is no getting out because at the end of the day the opposition that I was going against, they will catch me somewhere,” King said. “They know who I am, they know what I did, what I was a part of. They ain’t trying to hit at, you’re not with it anymore.”
King said ridding neighborhoods of gangs and that the families who are struggling to get by need major help.
“These are people that didn’t grow up with a silver spoon in their mouth, that is what people fail to realize,” King said. “There are people that are hurting, these communities are hurting. So how are you going to tell these people that what they are searching for, they are doing it wrong.
“Ain’t nobody leading by no positive example, ain’t nobody giving these people nothing to change, change their situation, put food in their refrigerator and cabinets, stop that baby from crying and to put money in their pockets for their bills. Ain’t nobody doing that but the people who are out there struggling with them. It don’t get no realer than that,” King said.Want more Gang Life: Virginia at War? Click here for complete coverage. Never miss another Facebook post from 8NewsFind 8News on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram; send your news tips toiReport8@wric.com.