Man, 20, who was shot dead by U.S. Marshals in Memphis posted a Facebook Live video just hours before he died boasting that police couldn’t catch him and they’d ‘have to kill me’
Brandon Webber, fugitive for a string of felonies, was wanted for a June 3 shooting that happened during a car theft in Mississippi, police said
After arranging to meet with a man who advertised a car for sale, Webber shot his victim five times at point blank range after he took the car on a test drive and then drove off in the stolen vehicle
He was shot dead by U.S. Marshals during an attempted arrest outside his family’s home in Memphis on Wednesday night
He had filmed a Facebook Live video just hours earlier boasting that police couldn’t catch him and they would ‘have to kill me’
Authorities say he rammed a police vehicle and then emerged with a weapon as they tried to arrest him for outstanding violent felony warrants
His death triggered violent overnight clashes with protesters that left at least 24 police officers injured when they were struck by flying rocks and bricks
Webber was an honors student who graduated high school in 2017 and was enrolled at University of Memphis
His pregnant girlfriend, Alorea Hardwick, went into labor as the riots broke out and filmed herself crying in hospital
Death wish? Police involved shooting victim, Brandon Webber [L-R], posted a Facebook Live video hours before his death, boasting that cops would have to kill him before taking him into custody
Brandon Webber posts a Facebook Live video hours before his death
Hours later, U.S. Marshals shot and killed Webber after they say he rammed a police vehicle and then emerged with a weapon as they tried to arrest him.
The incident triggered violent overnight clashes with protesters that left at least 24 police officers injured when they were struck by flying rocks and bricks.
Webber had been wanted in a June 3 shooting that happened during a car theft about 25 miles south of Memphis in Hernando, Mississippi.
He shot his victim five times at point blank range after Webber took the car on a test drive and then drove off in the stolen vehicle, according to DeSoto County, Mississippi, District Attorney John Champion.
The victim remains hospitalized but is expected to survive. A second suspect in the June 3 attack remains at large. Police said they believe the second suspect drove Webber to the location where he met the man selling his car, but was not present for the shooting itself.
‘This was a violent felon who did not obviously want to go to jail. And (the marshals) ended up, from my knowledge, doing what they had to do up there, not only to protect themselves but protect other people in the neighborhood,’ Champion said.
‘It’s obvious that he had no appreciation for the value of human life.’
Following the fatal shooting Wednesday night, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said Webber had rammed his car into vehicles driven by federal agents at about 7pm.
He was reportedly carrying a weapon when he got out of his vehicle, authorities said. A later statement from the U.S. Marshals Service made no reference to a weapon and a spokesman declined to say whether Webber had one.
His father Sonny said his son was shot between 16 and 20 times, but the number of shots could not immediately be confirmed.
The 2018 charges were not prosecuted, and the 2017 charges were dismissed, court records showed.
Alorea Hardwick, seen [photo] with Webber and their two-year-old son, was reportedly in labor in hospital when Webber was killed. It is not yet clear if Webber is the father of new baby
‘He wasn’t a bad guy,’ the elder Webber told Reuters of his son. ‘He wasn’t even living long enough to be a bad guy.’
He said his son had sold marijuana but was not a drug dealer.
Webber was described by those who knew him as an honors student who graduated from Memphis Central High School in 2017 and was enrolled at the University of Memphis.
He had two young children of his own, a 2-year-old boy and a newborn daughter, and was expecting a second daughter soon.
His girlfriend Alorea Hardwick, who is the mother of his toddler son, was in labor when Webber was killed.
They had been expecting a baby girl but it is not yet clear if she has given birth.
She filmed an emotional Facebook Live video of her crying in her hospital bed after hearing the news of Webber’s death.
Webber and Hardwick had hosted a baby shower on June 1 at the home where he was killed.
In the hours after his death, friends flooded Webber’s Facebook page with messages of love, grief, disbelief and outrage at the authorities responsible for his death.
‘He was loving and a very sweet kind person,’ Diamond Butler, who has known Webber since middle school, said.
‘I just want everybody to know he was a caring person. He took care of his kids.’
On Thursday night, dozens – including Webber’s father and other friends and relatives – gathered near the house where he was shot.
A couple of men spoke into megaphones and some motorists who drove by honked their horns and shouted messages of encouragement.
There was a light police presence with a couple police cars parked at a nearby fire station that was damaged during Wednesday night’s unrest.
Shortly after Wednesday’s shooting, people began to gather in the area, and their numbers swelled as some livestreamed the scene on social media. Memphis police initially responded in street uniforms, then returned in riot gear as people began hurling rocks and bricks.
During the unrest, officers cordoned off several blocks in the Frayser neighborhood north of downtown and arrested three people. By 11pm, officers had used tear gas and most of the crowd dispersed.