MEMPHIS, Tenn.– A family has identified one of the victims of a shooting on Beale Street that left one person dead and two injured early Sunday morning.
Weekend violence on Beale Street has pierced the heart of Tashia Smith.
“I had to watch my son die in my hands,” she said.
Her 26-year-old son Tacquan Smith, a local rapper and father of four with one on the way, was killed as shots rang outside The Green Room early Sunday morning.
Smith said more than a dozen family members went out to celebrate Tacquan’s late father’s birthday when he died.
“I brought him in this world, and I saw him be born and I saw my son have to die,” Smith said.
According to police, officers were present when two groups of men started to shoot outside the club. Three people were injured in total. During the exchange, MPD said officers nearby also fired shots.
“Police were standing there on the side of their car playing with women,” Smith said. “They not supposed to be out there partying they supposed to be out there to serve and protect.”
Smith said police weren’t properly monitoring the club.
She said her unarmed son, an innocent bystander, was shot once in the head. His 19-year-old cousin was critically injured along with a family friend.
Police took that friend into custody but Smith said he was only firing back at some unknown shooter in self-defense.
The family accuses police of firing shots that struck all three victims, ultimately killing Tacquan.
“I literally saw him take his last breath and I know for a fact the police were involved,” Smith said “He fell after police was shooting their guns over their cars. They was shooting recklessly.”
Memphis Police said the facts released Sunday in a statement still stand an the TBI was not being called to investigate since their officers did not fire the fatal shots.
Community activist Frank Gottie is calling for transparency along with the family.
“They talking about the prosecution got to release the tape. they need to release the tape we gone give them 24 hours to release the tape,” Gottie said.
Memphis Police said the three officers involved were routinely relieved of duty pending the investigation.
We’ve reached out to the DA’s Office to learn if the TBI will be called in to investigate, anyway. We may learn more from the medical examiner’s report when it is released.
UPDATE, April 12:
According to the Downtown Memphis Commission, use of wand metal detectors on Beale Street is seasonal from April to September. It starts at 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights, and ends based on crowd size.
Prior to the shooting over the weekend, wanding was used earlier in the evening for patrons to get onto Beale Street.
The shooting happened after wanding stopped on Beale Street.