26-Year-Old Victim Of Beale Street Shooting Died In His Mother's Arms

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Tacquan Smith was with more than a dozen other family members Sunday morning (April 10) while celebrating his late father's birthday on Beale Street when he was fatally shot.

According to local reports, Smith, 26, was identified by his family following the shooting took his life and left his younger cousin and family friend injured. Smith's mother, Tashia Smith, said her son died in her arms.

"I had to watch my son die in my hands," Tashia Smith told WREG. "I brought him in this world, and saw him born, and I saw my son have to die," she said. Tacquan, she said, was a local rapper and father of four, and had another baby on the way.

Police said the shooting started outside of The Green Room where two groups of men began opening fire outside of the club. Memphis Police officers who were stationed in the area began shooting, too, the Department confirmed.

Tashia Smith said her son was an unarmed innocent bystander that got caught between the gunfire exchange. Tacquan was shot once in the head, while his 19-year-old cousin and a family friend were critically injured.

"Police were standing there on side of their car playing with women," Tashia Smith said. "They not supposed to be out there partying, they supposed to be out there to serve and protect."

Tashia said her son died as a result of officers' gunfire. "I literally saw him take his last breath and I know for a fact that the police were involved," she said. "He fell after police was shooting their guns over their cars. They was shooting recklessly."

In a statement, Memphis Police said the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation would not be getting involved in the investigation and denied it was officers' shots that killed Tacquan.

"They talking about the prosecution got to release the tape. We're gonna give them 24 hours to release the tape," Memphis activist Frank Gottie told the outlet. So far Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich has not requested the TBI's involvement. Three officers have been relieved of duty as a routine measure, The Commercial Appeal reported.

WREG reached out to the Downtown Memphis Commission who confirmed that metal detector wands are used to gain entry to Beale Street only between April and September beginning a 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. But, those policies change depending on crowd size.

According to the outlet, wands had been used earlier in the evening but the shooting took place after the security measure had stopped for the night.

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