Memphis police: This man shot a mother in front of her five children. Now they are desperate to find him.


MEMPHIS, TN.- Where is Black Lives Matter? Oh, that’s right, probably out shaking down more businesses for money, while across the country, African Americans continue to get shot or killed. Not at the hands of police officers, but by other blacks.

The latest story of this outrage comes to you from Memphis, Tennessee, where a mother of five was gunned down in front of her children. Now she is in the hospital fighting for her life while the shooter remains at large.

According to ABC 24 in Memphis, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office has obtained an active warrant for 20-year-old Rodney Mcatee, who is considered to be armed and dangerous. The shooting took place this past Thursday. He is also wanted for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. The victim’s family confirmed that Mcatee is the shooter.

The victim was identified by family as Brittany Starks.

“He shot her in the chest just two centimeters above her heart,” said Brianna Hawthorne, sister of the victim. “She tried to end the relationship with her boyfriend, and he decided he was going to end her life.”

According to the family, Mcatee shot Starks with an AK47, just a scant few feet from Stark’s children.

“The people that know her, they know that she’s a sweet hearted person, soft spoken, the whole 9 yards…and for this to happen to her, this is really, really a shame,” said Deborah Hall-Burrows, Starks’ aunt.

The children were unharmed. An active search is underway by both the Memphis Police Department, as well as the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department. Starks’ family said that Mcatee has a history of abuse, as well as several brushes with law enforcement.

“If you’re in a relationship and you’re feeling threatened, or you feel as if he is separating you from your family or anything like that, try to get help,” said Demetria Hughes, Starks’ mother.

Memphis police: This man shot a mother in front of her five children.  Now they are desperate to find him.
Rodney Mcatee close up photo Twitter screenclip

The family said that Mcatee has been calling Starks’ hospital room to harass her.

“He’s armed and dangerous, two days ago it was my sister, tonight, tomorrow it could be you,” Hawthorne reasoned.

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Murdered officer's grave desecrated before headstone even placed

Meanwhile, also as reported by ABC 24, another Shelby County man was indicted for the stabbing deaths of his former girlfriend and their five-month-old son last year. The mother and child were found inside their burning house last year, according to Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich.

Enoch Zarceno Turner, 25, was indicted on charges of first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse, aggravated arson, and especially aggravated burglary.

Last September 13, sheriff’s deputies were called to a residence, where family members found the house filled with smoke.

Upon making their way upstairs, emergency responders found Heather Cook, 32, and her son Bentley dead of multiple stab wounds. They found that the fire, the origin of which was determined to be in the bedroom, was intentionally set, according to the fire marshal. Relatives said that the couple had been involved in an argument over child custody issues. Turner was arrested later that day.


ABC 24 said that the case is being prosecuted by Eric Christensen, Chief Prosecutor of the District Attorney’s Special Victims Unit, which deals with cases of rape, child sex abuse, severe physical abuse of child victims, elder abuse, and vulnerable adult abuse.

Co-prosecuting is Paul Hagerman, Chief Prosecutor of the District Attorney’s Crime Strategies &Narcotics Prosecution Unit. This unit is involved with the Multi-Agency Gang Unit, the Organized Crime Unit, Project Safe Neighborhoods/GunDone, GunStat, the Safe Streets Task Force and the Violent Crime Unit. In other words, it does not appear that any deals will be made with Turner.

Cook’s family released the following statement to ABC 24 News:

“Our family is relieved to hear of the indictment of Enoch Zarceno Turner in the murders of our beloved family members Heather Renee Cook and her baby, Bentley Evan Cook, both of Memphis, Tennessee. Heather was a devoted single mother of five-month-old Bentley, who had just begun his life.

“We are grateful that Mr. Turner has been formally indicted for the murders of Heather and Bentley Cook. We see this as a step forward in seeking justice for the murders of our loved ones. We have confidence that Mr. Christensen and Mr. Hagerman will prove his guilt beyond a shadow of a doubt. Justice will be served.”

We are going to keep sharing these stories with you. Because ALL black lives matter. 

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