Law enforcement on “high alert” following gang threat

Mississippi’s law enforcement agencies have been placed on high alert following an officer-involved shooting in Memphis on Wednesday night that allegedly has gang members seeking revenge.

Fox News reports that 20-year-old Brandon Webber was shot and killed by U.S. Marshals after he rammed task force vehicles “several times” and stepped out of his car with a gun.

Following the shooting, riots broke out in downtown Memphis, leaving 36 officers injured. Rioters were throwing bricks and rocks at the officers, and several police cars were also damaged. 

According to WLBT’s Therese Apel, the Mississippi Department of Public Safety has issued a bulletin to law enforcement agencies across the state warning them that Webber’s father and the Gangster Disciples street gang are now calling for retaliation against law enforcement. The bulletin goes on to instruct officers to be on high alert while in public, especially U.S. Marshals.

DPS Commissioner Marshall Fisher told Apel, “We received credible intelligence that a threat had been issued on law enforcement pursuant to the events that occurred in the city of Memphis [Wednesday] evening. I felt it was necessary to get that information out to law enforcement.”

Webber was wanted in connection with an attempted murder investigation in Hernando. DeSoto County District Attorney John Champion stated that the victim in the June 3rd shooting was shot 5 times and survived. 

Increased gang activity in the state has been a concern in recent years, with gang activity reaching all 82 counties in Mississippi. A similar threat against law enforcement was issued by gang members in 2015 following the murders of two Hattiesburg police officers.