The 20-year-old “student” whom U.S. Marshals shot and killed in Memphis, Tennessee, on Wednesday was a violent felon who arranged a car theft on Facebook, met the owner, then shot him five times.
Marshals fired on Brandon Webber because he resisted arrest and attacked the marshals with his vehicle, then brandished a weapon when he tried to flee.
As well, the “intelligent and funny” Webber, as the Commercial Appeal of Memphis described him in its lachrymose profile, had more than one brush with the law before he embarked on his short career as a car thief.
But rioters didn’t wait to find out the truth about Webber before they rampaged against the cops in Memphis.
Prosecutor: Webber Was a “Violent Felon”
John Champion, a district attorney in the 17th Circuit Court District of Mississippi, explained in detail why the marshals were after Webber, NBC reported. They wanted him for aggravated assault, armed robbery, and conspiracy to commit armed robbery in Hernando, Mississippi, on June 3.
Webber contacted a 24-year-old who was selling his red Infiniti G35 via Facebook and arranged a meeting under the guise of buying the car.
The two were in the Infiniti together when Webber asked the seller if he could take the car for a test drive, according to Champion.
"And as our victim got out of the passenger seat from the test drive, he went around the back of the car where Mr. Weber met him with a pistol and shot him five times," Champion said. The victim is expected to survive.
Webber then left the area driving the victim's vehicle, followed by an accomplice in a small, dark-colored passenger car, authorities said.
Webber was difficult to find at first because he used a fake Facebook page and phone number to set up the meeting about the car, Champion said. The victim positively identified Webber through a photo spread provided by detectives.
Webber was a fugitive for five days before authorities issued warrants for his arrest, and they haven’t found the accomplice, NBC reported.
Webber was a “very violent felon,” Champion said.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation described what marshals faced in trying to arrest him: “While attempting to stop the individual, he reportedly rammed his vehicle into the officers’ vehicles multiple times before exiting with a weapon.”
The Commercial Appeal produced the usual laudatory profile. Webber “was a member of an organization called Facing History and Ourselves,” and “he would visit other schools and host ‘teach-ins’ to talk to other students about important topics like the Holocaust, race in America and immigration.”
And he was an “excellent student,” a teacher said, “disciplined and focused.”
“About an hour before his death,” the newspaper reported, “Webber posted a live video on Facebook” that tooling around Memphis, “talking to people on the street, rapping along to songs on the radio and talking about how he needed someone to help him clear his head after a stressful day.”
Of course, Webber’s pals don’t want him “judged,” because “we are all larger and better people than the worst things we ever do.” Webber, you see, was “gentle and goofy.”
Maybe, but “public records show Webber has faced charges twice before,” the newspaper reported:
In 2017, he faced misdemeanor gun charges after Memphis police found a gun in a car he was riding in during a traffic stop. Webber was not the driver, and his charges were later dismissed.
About a year later, he was arrested again, this time on felony drug charges when police found about 13 grams of marijuana in a car he was driving. Prosecutors later dropped those charges, court records show.
Riots Harm 36 Cops
Rioters attacked cops with bricks and rocks and wrecked police cars, the police department reported.
“36 MPD officers and SCSO deputies suffered minor injuries during this incident due to bricks and rocks being thrown at them,” the department tweeted. Some landed in the hospital. Rioters damaged 23 vehicles, including 15 belonging to police, three belonging to the sheriff’s department, and another five owed by other agencies.
Cops arrested three rioters on charges of disorderly conduct. They charged one of the three with inciting a riot.
The rioting in Memphis reprises the rioting that followed the justified shooting of thug Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
Photo: AP Images