A white father and son accused of shooting a black FedEx driver as he delivered packages in Mississippi were inspired by the murder of black Georgia jogger Ahmaud Arbery, lawyers for the victim claimed.
Driver D’Monterrio Gibson, 24 was delivering packages in Brookhaven on Jan. 24 when two strangers in a pickup truck chased his unmarked van for seven minutes and fired at the vehicle at least five times, lawyers said at a Thursday press conference.
Brandon Case, 35 was charged with weapons and assault charges while his father, Gregory Case, 58 faced conspiracy charges, according to The Washington Post. The suspects were reportedly released on bond one day after being charged, a week after the shooting.
“They came out of nowhere,” Gibson said. “Even if [the van] was unmarked, civilians still can not take the law into their own hands. ”
“I’m thinking this is a racism thing,” Gibson, who was not injured during the attack, added.
Lawyers for Gibson demanded a federal hate crime charge and asserted Thursday that local prosecutors dragged their heels on the case.
Attorney Carlos E Moore said Gibson was shot and pursued for being “black while working.”
He believed the Case men attacked him because they thought he did not belong in their neighborhood, drawing the comparison to the Georgia father-and-son duo that admitted to chasing and killing Arbery in 2020 along with another man.
“These people tried to be copycats, and that’s why we need full justice, not Mississippi justice. This man went to work, and they attacked him like he was a wild animal, “Moore said, claiming the incident was” clearly a copycat crime. “
“Some semblance of justice was served, but we’re disappointed since we think the charges should be attempted murder because that’s what it was,” Moore said.
Brookhaven Police Chief Kenneth Collins told local station WLBT Thursday that the FBI had picked up the case that his office had built against the father and son.
“They come down this morning and got the case file and they’re going to investigate it on the federal hate crime side, because only a federal agency can do that. We are just local, we can not bring that charge, ”Collins said.
Gibson recounted the attack to the Mississippi Free Press last week, saying Gregory Case cut him off in his truck while Brandon tried to gun him down.
“There’s another guy standing in the middle of the street pointing a gun at my windows and signaling to me to stop with his hands, as well as mouthing the word, ‘Stop.’ I shake my head no, I hide behind the steering wheel, and I wander around him as well, ”he told the newspaper. “As I wander around him, he starts firing shots into my vehicle.”