When a 16-year-old girl was shot and killed while working at a Burger King drive-thru in Milwaukee earlier this month, the terrible news reverberated across the country. Tens of thousands of dollars in donations poured in and Niesha Harris-Brazell’s devastated family wondered how she could be taken away “in the blink of an eye”.

But after spending two weeks piecing together the events, investigators made the explosive allegation in court papers that Harris-Brazell was killed in a botched robbery she staged with her best friend and her best friend’s father. friend.

Harris-Brazell, a devoted student at Pulaski High School, was working as a cashier on Jan. 2 with her best friend, who identified herself in media interviews as Mariah Edwards.

That evening, a black Chevy Impala pulled up outside the drive-thru window, according to surveillance footage cited by authorities in a criminal complaint. Harris-Brazell turned to serve the supposed customer, when the driver pulled out a gun, demanding money.

Surveillance footage showed Harris-Brazell backing up and beginning to withdraw money from a ledger while apparently signaling help from his colleagues. The driver, with the hood of his red jacket pulled down over his masked face, then climbed out of the window, waving a gun in one hand and reaching for cash with the other, according to court documents.

But the assailant then suddenly pulled out of the window and got back into his car without the money, before speeding off again. At the same time, Harris-Brazell fell to the ground from a gunshot.

“After I heard the shots I ran forward and saw my best friend lying on the ground saying she had been shot,” Mariah Edwards told FOX6 in the days that followed.

Harris-Brazell was rushed to hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Investigators initially assumed the hooded man at the window fired the shots that killed Harris-Brazell. But a closer look at the video footage showed the gun he was waving was never fired, authorities said.

As stated in court documents, another camera mounted inside the restaurant revealed that the shots had been fired from in the Burger King.

As the theft unfolded and Harris-Brazell called for help, his colleague, Derrick Ellis, 34, was quick to respond. A criminal complaint filed four days after the shooting alleged that Ellis pulled out a gun, aimed at the robber and fired two shots. It looks like Harris-Brazell was caught in the crossfire.

According to court documents, surveillance footage captured Ellis seemingly panicked as he rushed to collect the casings fired from the restaurant floor afterwards. He was filmed running towards the restaurant manager, who helped him store the gun in the store’s safe.

Ellis then fled the restaurant and has not been seen since. He was charged with murder. The Burger King manager reportedly told police that Ellis hid the gun and got away because he was a convicted felon who was not allowed to own a gun.

Investigators say they then established that the driver of the Impala was Antoine Edwards, whose daughter Mariah was working at Burger King at the time. According to a criminal complaint, Mariah allegedly confessed that she, her father and Harris-Brazell coordinated the robbery when they expected the ledger to be filled with cash.

According to a complaint, Mariah claimed they implicated Harris-Brazell because she worked at the drive-thru window while Mariah worked in the kitchen. It was never part of the plan, however, for Ellis, the colleague who allegedly shot Harris-Brazell, to come to their aid.

Although Mariah claimed to police that all three were involved in the scheme, Antoine Edwards reportedly claimed his daughter was not involved and insisted that Harris-Brazell was his only accomplice.

Both father and daughter were arrested and a criminal complaint charged Antoine with criminal murder, intentional contribution to the delinquency of a child with consequent death, and possession of a firearm by a criminal.

Harris-Brazell’s mother, Liceal Brazell, remained defiant that her daughter was not involved in the scheme that cost her her life. On Friday, she told FOX6, “It really drives me crazy, it makes me angry. You’ve told so many different lies, now you’re gonna tell more lies. It’s not going to help you. It’s not going to help your father.

Harris-Brazell’s sister set up a GoFundMe to help support the family which raised more than $40,000. Her grandmother, Ida Lane, told FOX6, “We’re trying to raise a self-sufficient, independent young woman here and she was taken from us in the blink of an eye.”

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