Before an angry Tennessee community lashed out at police, injuring two dozen officers, federal law enforcement agents killed Brandon Webber near what authorities believe was one of his family member’s north Memphis home.
It was about 7 p.m. (8 p.m. ET) Wednesday when officers from the US Marshals Service “encountered” Webber at the home in Memphis’ Frayser neighborhood, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said.
Given that marshals are charged with apprehending dangerous fugitives and Webber had multiple felony warrants, according to the bureau, it seems unlikely the encounter was a chance one.
The marshals involved were part of the Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force, which counts Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee in its jurisdiction.
“(Webber) 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,” said the bureau, which has been tapped to investigate Webber’s shooting.
Asked what kind of weapon Webber allegedly brandished and whether investigators recovered it, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Keli McAlister said only that that is part of the ongoing investigation.
No marshals were injured, she said, explaining that the bureau, per policy, would not be identifying any of the officers involved. That information must come from the Marshals Service, she said.
The incident occurred in front of the house where marshals reportedly encountered Webber, McAlister said, and she believes the home belongs to one of the 20-year-old’s family members.
What exactly stoked the community’s ire and spurred them to violence is unclear, but several residents told local media outlets that Webber, an African-American, was well-known in the neighborhood.
According to the US Census Bureau, the ZIP code that includes most of Frayser is roughly 80% black, and more than four in 10 residents live below the poverty line.
CNN’s Joe Sutton and Amanda Watts contributed to this report.