(Memphis) A man was shot and killed around 2:00pm Thursday at a car wash in the 3600 block of Millbranch in Whitehaven.
While police actively searched the area for a suspect, there is still no suspect information as of Thursday night.
Family members said the black SUV parked in one of the car wash stalls belonged to Deangelo Watkins, a forklift driver in his late 20s. He leaves behind an eight-year-old son, a girlfriend, a mother and an extended family in grief.
Fanny Watkins, who said she raised her grandson, said, “He loved to sing church songs, and I loved that boy.”
Watkins said she hopes he didn’t suffer.
If he did, the description given by the witness who called 911 would indicate he didn’t suffer long.
“I seen an individual leaving, with this back walking away. Then, out of nowhere, a guy come out of the car wash holding his head, and staggering…and he fell to the ground,” he said.
The witness, who wished to remain anonymous, said he was working at a site next to the car wash when he heard three shots.
After seeing the possible gunman walk south, away from the car wash, he saw something perhaps even more disturbing.
Two men walked up, paced back and forth, “Kind of speaking real loud, like they warned him, or something like that.”
He said one of them then searched his pants and pockets. Then they seemed to blend back into the crowd, as if they wanted to evade the situation.
“Not coming up wanting to help the guy, but wanting to come up and look in his pants and take. It’s just clearly, it’s out of control,” he said. “Memphis needs help.”
The victim’s grandmother would agree.
“That’s a mean world out there. Every day, somebody’s shooting and killing somebody,” Watkins said.
The victim’s aunt, Ruthie Love-Webb, said she would tell his young son that his father was killed by a “low-life thug.”
She said, “I’m not putting whatever he did behind him, or making it right…he’s a young man. Kids do what kids do. However, who the hell gives you the right to take life that you can’t give?”
The family said they would remain strong, and even pray for the man responsible. Still, they know the cycle of violence now makes the suspect a target himself.
“You live by the gun, you die by the gun. Whoever killed him, somebody will get them too. What goes around comes around, because he may not live the day out,” Watkins said.