Brandon D. Webber was the man shot and killed in an incident involving U.S. Marshals June 12 in Memphis, according to a mayoral candidate, widespread social media memorial posts, and the Commercial Appeal. Authorities later confirmed Webber was the man dead after the incident.
The 20-year-old Webber was shot when marshals were serving a warrant in Frayser, and he allegedly “pulled a rifle,” according to local news reports. The shooting occurred in the 2000 block of Durham in Memphis and involved the Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force, a U.S. Marshal Service task force, at about 7 p.m. local time, officials said.
The warrant was from Hernando, MS, according to local journalists. “Source tells me the man shot by a US Marshal Wednesday night was wanted for a shooting in Hernando (Mississippi). A man was selling a car and the suspect shot the seller 5 times. He survived,” wrote Janice Broach of Action News 5.
Tennessee Bureau of Investigation released a statement saying U.S. Marshals were serving warrants on a man who rammed his vehicle into the officers’ vehicles before exiting with a weapon.
“Preliminary information indicates that at approximately 7 p.m., multiple officers with the United States Marshals Service – Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force encountered a male, wanted on multiple warrants, outside of a home in the 2700 block of Durham Street as he was getting into a vehicle. While attempting to stop the individual, he reportedly rammed his vehicle into the officers’ vehicles multiple times before exiting with a weapon. The officers fired striking and killing the individual. No officers were injured,” the statement said.
Brandon Webber posted a video to Facebook about three hours before the shooting. He turned the camera to show a passing police car. Webber then alluded to bringing officers on a high-speed chase.
Frayser is a community in North Memphis, Tennessee.
Several police officers and reporters suffered minor injuries on the scene. Memphis Police Department said 36 officers, including Memphis police and members of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, suffered minor injuries from rocks and bricks thrown at them. All of the officers were released from the hospital. Three adults were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. One of them was also charged with inciting a riot, the police department said.
The mayor said earlier in the day officers were injured in the subsequent unrest and six of them went to the hospital.
“As I monitored tonight’s fatal shooting involving the US Marshal’s, I was proud of our first responders,” Mayor Jim Strickland wrote. “I’m impressed by their professionalism and incredible restraint as they endured concrete rocks being thrown at them and people spitting at them. At least 24 officers and deputies were injured—6 were taken to the hospital. At least two journalists were injured. Multiple police cars were vandalized. A concrete wall outside a business was torn down. The windows were broken out at fire station 31.”
Local reporters said a crowd threw rocks at a group of Memphis Police officers, who were on the scene to assist with traffic control. They were not involved with the shooting. Other reporters said they heard gunfire. One reporter captured a video of two men smashing a Memphis police car with a chair.
Fifteen Memphis police vehicles, three Shelby County Sheriff’s office vehicles, and five vehicles from other agencies were also damaged, according to Memphis Police Department.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Memorials Sprouted up on Facebook From People Mourning Brandon Webber
Within minutes, people deluged Brandon Webber’s Facebook page with photos and tributes to him. The tributes continued to be posted in the morning hours. Jay Feezy described Brandon Webber as a “father,” “son,” “college student” and “graduate.”
A GoFundMe fundraiser was started in Brandon Webber’s name, which says donations will go toward funeral expenses, trust funds for his four children and an independent investigation into the shooting. It says he was a full-time college student at University of Memphis who graduated with honors from Central High School.
“If you know Brandon you know all he wanted was to be the best father he could for his children,” the page says. “Let’s show the world that Memphis will stand up for Brandon the way he stood up for Memphis.”
One friend, Quantasia Turner, told WMC-TV Brandon Webber made a positive impact on many people and had “a good spirit. She said those who know his character can’t make sense of the way his life ended.
One man shared the following photo collage on Facebook and wrote this, “”=I’m posting these pictures because out of all the pictures the news & some of the media could’ve chosen, they scrolled RIGHT PASS these. Trying to destroy this young black king. Not saying he was a FATHER, a GRADUATE, a COLLEGE STUDENT, and much more. They wanna portray him as a monster. I can’t sit back & allow them to do our brother, 1 of our black kings like this. POST THESE PICTURES OF HIM. Rest Well King Brandon D. Webber ????”
Several people referred to him as “B” or “BStacks.”
Travis Starks shared photo with a high school diploma. He captioned the post, “Nobody Really Know How He Feels…I Always Thought That You Would Be Here….”
Central High School confirmed Webber was a student there who graduated in 2017. Principal Greg McCullough said, “My heart is broken. Brandon worked hard during his time at Central. He was a talented art student. My prayers go out to the Webber family.”
Jose Ramirez Ortiz shared an exchange of messages between him and Brandon Webber. In December, Ramirez wrote “Don’t let up bro.” Webber responded “I gotchu Bruh fr.”
Brianna Barron said she would make sure her son remembers “his daddy forever.”
Giovanna Smith wrote “You Can’t Leave Us Like This It’s Not Gone Be Right Brother Get Up Brandon You Got Kids Yo Babies Need You Brother Get Uppppp Pleaseee B I Love You Forever.”
Brooke Patterson wrote “y’all took my lil cousin mane.”
“The love I had for Brandon still remain the same,” Kay Brown wrote. “LongLiveB.”
2. Police Say U.S. Marshals Were Serving A Warrant On Webber For Shooting A Man
U.S. Marshals were serving a warrant on Brandon Webber for allegedly shooting a man five times in Hernando, Mississippi, June 3, according to John Champion, District Attorney over the 17th Circuit Court District in Mississippi, which includes Hernando.
When serving an out-of-state warrant on a violent suspect, he said it is common for U.S. Marshals to serve the warrant. Webber was charged with aggravated assault, armed robbery and conspiracy to commit armed robbery. Marshals are looking for a second suspect wanted in the case, who is also believed to be in Memphis.
Champion said the victim in Henderson, who he did not name, was trying to sell a car on Facebook. Webber took the vehicle for a test drive and then allegedly shot the man five times. The man survived and remains hospitalized. Champion described the shooting as “cold-blooded” and premeditated.
“Obviously when they were up in Memphis looking for him, they were very aware of his propensity for violence toward our victim down here,” Champion said. “I mean he basically just cold-bloodedly shot him five times. Thank God our victim is alive,” he said.
He said he understands the frustration in Memphis, but wishes people would wait to understand the circumstances before reacting.
Watch the full press conference:
Janice Broach with WMC-TV said Wednesday night marshals were serving a warrant on a “violent suspect” when he allegedly “pulled a rifle” on the marshal, prompting at least one to “fire back.”
She wrote “Source says Marshal’s service was serving a violent charges on a suspect. The suspect pulled a rifle on Marshal and at least one marshal fired back.”
Four past cases also come up for Webber in Shelby County court records. In 2018, he was cited with minor traffic offenses. That same year, he had a “felony arrest.” Charges in that case included tampering, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia. The case was not prosecuted. Earlier in 2018, he had traffic offenses. His final case, in 2017, was unlawful possession of weapon. The case was dismissed for lack of prosecution.
3. Webber Uploaded a Facbook Live Video Showing Him Driving Around Aimlessly 2 Hours Before His Death
Webber posted a video to Facebook about two hours before his death that appeared to show him saying police would “have to catch” him and threatening violence.
Webber’s last Facebook post was a video that appeared to show him driving, smoking a blunt with the caption “What’s The Move I Need A Date. Who Wanna Traffic with they Favorite GreenHeart.”
Webber posted multiple photos on Facebook with guns and stacks of money. In one photo posted March 31, he appeared to be posing with a rifle on his shoulder. He captioned the post, “In Da Squad I Trust.”
At one point, a police car drives by. He calls the officers “b****es” and seemed to say “Don’t drive by me. You’re gonna have to catch me, homie.”
He said they would have to find him, then turned his camera toward the passing police car. “Oh God, look at these b****es,” he said. “Don’t drive by me. He gonna have to catch me, homie,” he said and laughed. “He gonna have to catch me, homie. I ain’t even gonna lie. I would do their a** so bad they’d leave me alone,” he laughed again. “It would be so funny seeing those b****es,” he continued.
An earlier version of this article quoted Webber as saying “He gonna have to kill me homie. I ain’t even gonna lie. I would do their a** so bad they’d leave me alone.”
Several readers have emailed us to say Webber is saying “catch” and not “kill.” The line comes with 30 seconds left in the video.
4. Officers & Reporters Were Injured When Protest Erupted
Memphis Police Department tweeted “Several officers have received minor injuries due to individuals throwing bricks/rocks at the officers. Officers are being check by paramedics. This is still an active scene. MPD officers are securing the area so that TBI can make the scene.”
A reporter and a photographer were also injured. One said he went to the hospital for a contusion.
Thirty-six officers were injured, according to Memphis Police Department.
Their initial tweet said, “Old Allen Station officers received a call for assistance from the US Mashals regarding a shooting that had occurred in the 2000 block of Durham. MPD is now on the scene assisting with traffic control. No MPD officer was involved in a shooting. This is an active scene.”
Tennessee Bureau of Investigation led the investigation of the shooting. They tweeted, “MEDIA: TBI Agents are responding to scene of an officer-involved shooting in the 2000 block of Durham in Memphis involving members of the Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force, US Marshal Service. PIO @TBIKeli is headed to the scene & will provide additional info when possible.”
Keli McAlister, public information officer for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, said she was in the area but would not be able to provide an immediate update.
“MEDIA: I am in the area but an update will not be available for some time. I will keep you updated,” she wrote.
At about 12:15 a.m. local time, she wrote “MEDIA: Thank you for your patience as this remains a very fluid situation. Though I’m still not sure of our timing, I will hold a briefing regarding the Frayser incident at some point this morning as well as issue a written statement. I’ll update you as soon as possible.”
Luke Jones reported he was hit in the head and knocked to the ground while reporting on the scene for WREG-TV.
“Had to change locations. Guy just ran up, hit me on the side of my head and knocked me to the ground,” he wrote.
Rebecca Butcher with Local 24 News said her photographer was injured on the scene.
“The crowd at Overton Crossing was too volatile,” she wrote on Twitter. “My photographer sadly was hit by someone in the crowd. Thankfully he is okay! We have now moved to Durham Street—where tonight’s officer-involved shooting took place. We’re live at 10.”
5. Videos & Photos Captured the Frustration at the Scene
Reporters captured video of several confrontations between the public and police.
One video captured by Luke Jones showed a man hitting a police car with a chair and passing the chair to another man, who smashed the rear windshield of a police car.
Rankin shared a video of a man confronted a line of police, who were holding their riot shields up.
“Intense moments in Frayser after an officer involved shooting with a US Marshal,” she wrote.
Joyce Peterson with WMC-TV shared a photo of a police car with smashed windows.
“NEW: Here’s a look at the damage done to a @MEM_PoliceDept squad car. The windshield demolished. Some officers have riot gear. No reports of any officers seriously injured,” she wrote.
She shared a video that seemed to capture the sound of gunfire.
Tennessee State Representative Antonio Parker tweeted Tennessee Bureau of Investigation could not get into the scene to investigate because of an “unstable situation.”
He also wrote, “Our thoughts and prayers go out to all involved in the incident in Frayser. The Frayser community is comprised of good, hard working people who love their community. The community wants answers into tonight’s incident. We are asking for calm and restraint by all and complete transparency in the investigation of tonight’s officer involved shooting.”
The NAACP tweeted they were monitoring reports of riots.
“We are closely monitoring the reports of riots in the North Memphis, TN community of #Frayser following a law-enforcement involved shooting,” they wrote on the official account.
Shelby County Commissioner Tami Sawyer said Brandon Webber was shot “16-20 times in his family’s front yard.”
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this post quoted Brandon Webber in the headline and in the text of the article as saying police would have to “kill” him. We have removed that direct quote from the headline and article to reflect uncertainty over whether he said “kill” or “catch.”