Family fights for justice after mother of five shot by boyfriend


MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A mother of five is fighting for her life after family members say her boyfriend shot her in the chest.

Now they’re not only advocating for the end of domestic violence, but for justice for Brittany Starks.

“We want justice for Brittany. That’s what this is about. Justice for Brittany,” said Brianna Hawthorne, the victim’s sister.

Hawthorne said her sister had let her boyfriend know she didn’t want to be with him anymore. Family says he then shot her.

“He intimidated her, the kids,” said her mother, Demetria Hughes. “He couldn’t live with her so he made sure that he made it perfectly clear that your life would be a living hell.”

According to police reports, Starks managed to call police with a bullet wound in her chest. 

The report says earlier that evening, Memphis police received another domestic disturbance call at the same location. At the time, Starks said she didn’t need any assistance. 

Another family member said the boyfriend left the scene, then came back.

Family members say all five of Starks’ young children were home and witnessed everything. None of them were harmed.

The police report lists Rodney McAtee as the suspect. He currently has a warrant out for his arrest for aggravated assault.

Police say the suspect is a 39-year-old, 6-foot-5, 170-pound Black man with dreads. He drives a four-door gray Cadillac.

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