Police, angry crowd face off after shooting in Memphis

UPDATE (1:30 p.m.) — Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland says about 35 law enforcement officers were injured in the community uproar over a man killed by a federal fugitive task force.

Strickland revealed the updated number to WREG-TV on Thursday. Previously, Strickland’s office said 24 injured officers were hurt, with six needing hospital treatment.

Strickland says he’s sure there will be an investigation into assaults, batteries, injuries and property damage. He also says he grieves for the loss of the life.

Authorities say Brandon Webber was shot by federal marshals who were trying to arrest him on multiple felony warrants Wednesday evening. The U.S. Marshals Service declined to give specifics on the warrants. The shooting prompted angry reactions in his neighborhood, where the mayor says protesters threw rocks and spit on Memphis police officers.
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UPDATE 12:45 p.m.

The father of the man killed by a federal fugitive task force says his 20-year-old son had a daughter on the way who he will never meet.

Sonny Webber said in a phone interview Thursday that his son, Brandon Webber, also had two other young children. He said Brandon Webber was going to return to the University of Memphis in August.

Authorities say Brandon Webber was shot by federal marshals who were trying to arrest him on multiple felony warrants Wednesday evening. The U.S. Marshals Service declined to give specifics on the warrants.

The shooting prompted angry reactions in his neighborhood, where the mayor says protesters threw rocks and spit on Memphis police officers. Mayor Jim Strickland said 24 officers were injured. He said at least two journalists were injured and property was damaged.


MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Armed officers and an angry crowd faced off late Wednesday night after reports that at least one man was fatally shot by authorities in a working-class north Memphis neighborhood.

Memphis police said people in the crowd threw rocks and bricks, with 25 officers suffering minor mostly minor injuries. Officers cordoned off several blocks near the scene. By 11 p.m., officers had used tear gas and most of the crowd dispersed, police director Michael Rallings said at a Thursday morning at a news conference. Three people were arrested.

Officers on horseback patrolled the area, and lines of police cars with flashing blue lights were parked along the street. An ambulance could be seen at the outer edge of the scene. A helicopter flew overhead as police cars trickled away.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said its agents were on the scene of a shooting involving a regional anti-crime task force. TBI spokeswoman Keli McAlister said early Thursday that the Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force went to a Frayser home to look for a suspect with felony warrants. Marshals saw the man get into a vehicle and then proceed to ram police vehicles several times before exiting with a weapon, McAlister said. Police then opened fire, killing the man who died at the scene. McAlister did not say how many marshals fired or how many times the man was shot.

Memphis police said none of its officers was involved in the shooting.

One local official identified the victim as Brandon Webber and said he was shot several times in his family’s front yard. Family members confirmed to the Daily Memphian that 21-year-old Weber died.

In identifying Webber on Twitter early Thursday, Shelby County Commissioner and mayoral candidate Tami Sawyer said “Every life lost should matter…every single one. How many times will this be ok? It cannot continue to be.”

Rallings implored residents to wait until the TBI finishes its investigation before spreading possible misinformation about the shooting. “I need everyone to stay calm,” he said. “While police have been supportive of past protests,” Rallings added, “we will not allow any acts of violence.”

Passion Anderson, a 34-year old student, brought her 13-year-old son to the scene early Thursday. She grew up in Memphis and recently moved back to the Frayser neighborhood, a mostly low- to middle-income area with modest single-family homes and apartments. She said she worried about her son’s safety every day in Memphis which struggles with crime and gang activity.

“I just want him to see this, know what’s going on, to be conscious,” she said. “I fear for him all the time.”