EXCLUSIVE: Paralyzed Baltimore Sgt. Ike Carrington talks about sentencing of man involved in 2019 shooting
BALTIMORE -- Baltimore Police Sergeant Isaac "Ike" Carrington was at his home talking with a neighbor on August 8, 2019, when his life changed.
Carrington was off duty talking to his neighbor when an armed man hopped out of a stolen car and demanded money, saying simply, "don't run."
The 25-year Baltimore City Police veteran, and East Baltimore native, was shot several times before the gunman grabbed Carrington's handgun and got back in the car.
Carrington is paralyzed from the waist down and is still in a rehab facility.
Rashaud Nesmith, one of the men accused in the shooting, was sentenced to 40 years in prison on Monday .
Last year, Karon Foster pleaded guilty to multiple carjacking and conspiracy charges, including the armed robbery of Sergeant Carrington.
Law enforcement praised the federal task force for bringing justice.
"Without the support of all of our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners, we wouldn't have been able to close this as quickly as we did and we wouldn't have been able to link all the criminals together that we did," said Richard Worley, from the Baltimore City Police Department. "So, without them, we'd probably still be looking at patterns and try to arrest offenders one at a time."
"We must do everything we can to help young people turn away from violent crime so they can avoid the result here today," US Attorney Erek Barron said.
Last month, WJZ, in partnership with The Baltimore Banner, sat down with Sgt. Carrington and the ATF agents who are responsible for connecting the dots.
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In 2019, there was a string of violent robberies in Baltimore City. Some were deadly.
"We knew that some robberies, shootings, and homicides were occurring," said Toni Crosby, Special Agent in Charge with ATF Baltimore.
Baltimore City police reached out to a Federal Task Force.
Crosby said it didn't take long to start connecting cases.
"What we're finding is that gun has been passed around for some time over a period of time and are being used by different individuals," Crosby said.
As investigators began getting hits on a ballistic database known as 'Nibin,' popular Baltimore barber Devon Chavis was shot.
"I remember being at that scene because we were investigating it as a shooting at first," Carrington told WJZ.
Baltimore City shooting detective, Sgt. Carrington remembers investigating before homicide units eventually took over.
Chavis was at least the third homicide linked in a seven-week span.
"A lot of what we do is data-driven," Supervisory Special Agent Troy Dannenfelser said.
Investigators said they used ballistic evidence, video, and a cell phone of interest to link the violence to Karon Foster.
They were at the State's Attorney's Office to get an arrest warrant on the morning of August 8.
On that day, Sgt. Carrington was shot.
"So, while we were at the meeting, we were notified of the shooting of Sgt. Carrington," Dannenfelser said.
As Sgt. Carrington was rushed to shock trauma, investigators were confident they weren't starting from scratch.
"Based on the M.O. of what happened during that incident, we were pretty much going to get a NIBIN lead from that gun," Crosby said.
Carrington recalled the shooter telling him, "don't run."
"He says, 'don't run.' I said, 'don't do this. I'm a police officer,'" Carrington told WJZ.
Carrington said his neighbor dropped his things and ran, and he did, too.
"I said, 'Look, man, you don't want to do this," Carrington said. "I'm a police officer. Don't do this.'"
As Carrington recovered, he thought of Devon Chavis' murder and a witness recalling those same two words.
"That's the same thing that happened at that shooting," Sgt. Carrington said. "He said, 'Don't run.' And, when the young man (Chavis) ran, that's when he started shooting."
Investigators said that connection, combined with other gun crime technology, linked seemingly random crimes.
"This case in particular was pretty textbook in showing that this model and the technology we're using actually works," Crosby said.
The same crew terrorizing Baltimore months prior, who Sgt. Carrington once was investigating and was responsible for his shooting.
"Same crew, yep," Carrington said.
When police arrested Foster and Nesmith weeks later, not only did they recover the gun used, but also a photo from Nesmith's iCloud account of Sgt. Carrington's handgun which was taken 10 minutes after the shooting.
"It was great, but we had to know that we weren't going to get those," Dannenfelser said. "So, we had to know when we were ready to make those arrests that we had enough to move forward."
"It's very refreshing when we work cases like this and we can give the victims some closure to this," Crosby said.
Nesmith pleaded guilty in June to conspiring with East Baltimore's "Triple C," a gang police said is responsible for more than a dozen murders and a number of shootings, robberies, and carjackings.
Sgt. Carrington told WJZ he takes no pleasure in the sentencing of those responsible, but he's grateful for justice.
"In my heart, I wouldn't be able to move forward and that's what I feel in my heart is to forgive them for what they've done," Sgt. Carrington said.