The death of a 16-year-old Burger King employee in Milwaukee earlier this month was the result of a botched plan for a “staged” armed robbery, according to authorities.
Arrested in the case is suspect Antoine Edwards, 41, who has been charged with felony murder, among other offenses, and his 16-year-old daughter, who was a co-worker of the girl who died, reports said.
Edwards allegedly coordinated the plan with his daughter and the victim, Niesha Harris-Brazell, to rob the Burger King where the girls worked on Jan. 2, FOX 6 of Milwaukee reported.
The deceased girl’s grandmother, however, denied her granddaughter was involved, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported.
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“That’s complete and utter bullsh–,” Ida Lane, the grandmother, told the newspaper.
The newspaper noted that no other evidence has emerged of the dead girl’s alleged involvement in the robbery attempt except statements to police from the father-daughter suspects.
Harris-Brazell was not shot by Edwards, but instead by Derrick Ellis, 34, a Burger King employee who authorities believe was not involved in the plot but was instead trying to stop the robbery, according to the Journal-Sentinel.
But Ellis was a felon who illegally had a weapon with him at work, and he fled the scene soon after the shooting and remained at large Friday, according to authorities, the Journal-Sentinel reported.
Security cameras at the restaurant recorded the incident, which started just after 10 p.m. when a Chevy Impala pulled up to the restaurant’s drive-thru window.
According to authorities, the driver, Edwards, gestured to the window and a “juvenile male employee responds… and opens the window and briefly says something to the Impala driver. The Impala then pulls away, and the juvenile male closes the window,” a criminal complaint detailed.
The same vehicle pulled up to the window minutes later when Harris-Brazell answered.
“The same Impala and driver re-appear at the drive-thru window. This time the victim…is in the area of the window, and she opens it. She immediately and quickly backs away from the open window and stands off to the side of the window, so that she is no longer visible to the driver of the Impala. She removes the cash drawer from the cash register and stands there holding it while she calls out towards the other employees who are in the interior of the restaurant,” the complaint continued, as FOX 6 reported.
Edwards then “inserts his upper body into the drive-thru window” and pulls a firearm.
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The man gestures the pistol toward Harris-Brazell before he abruptly re-enters the vehicle as the 16-year-old reportedly drops to the floor.
The criminal complaint said “it does not appear” Edwards shot the victim as “there is no muzzle flash or smoke, no cartridge casing is ejected, and there is no motion consistent with the recoil of a gun.”
Instead, other internal cameras captured Ellis pulling a firearm and firing toward the drive-thru window. He was also captured on cameras collecting the bullet casings, speaking with the restaurant manager, and putting both the gun and the casings into a safe inside the restaurant, FOX 6 reported.
Ellis then fled the scene and Milwaukee police were still searching for him Friday.
Edwards’ daughter spoke with police, confirming the Burger King robbery was staged, FOX 6 reported.
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She “admitted that the robbery was staged to steal money, and she was in on the plan. She said that the victim, (Harris-Brazell), was her best friend. The Impala driver…was her father,” the complaint said.
Edwards also provided a statement to police, corroborating the series of events. In his statement, however, he claimed the robbery was staged with Harris-Brazell and not his daughter, Fox 6 reported.
Police also arrested a 38-year-old unidentified woman in connection to the robbery, though she was not formally charged with a crime.