Milwaukee authorities say a robbery that left a 16-year-old Burger King employee dead was staged, and she was in on it.
Niesha Harris-Brazell was working the drive-thru window on the night of January 2, when a black Chevy Impala drove up and the driver demanded cash.
The driver leaned through the restaurant window, pointed a gun at Niesha and ordered her to hurry up.
As Niesha turned to get the money from the cash register, she signaled to her co-workers for help.
One of those employees, Derrick D. Ellis, 34, produced a handgun and fired twice at the robber who slid down into the driver’s seat and sped off empty handed.
Niesha fell to the floor and told her co-workers she was shot. She was rushed to a hospital and later pronounced dead.
Police say she was shot by her co-worker, Ellis, a convicted felon who is now in the wind.
Surveillance video shows Ellis scrambling to pick up the spent shell casings off the floor after accidentally shooting his co-worker. He then handed the weapon to a store manager who hid it in the restaurant’s safe.
Prosecutors filed a murder charge and felony gun possession charge against Ellis last week, Yahoo News reported. He is still on the run.
Police later arrested the driver of the Impala, Antoine Edwards (pictured), and charged him with felony murder, intentionally contributing to the delinquency of a child with death as a consequence, and possession of a firearm by a felon.
Meanwhile, Niesha’s family created a GoFundMe account to raise $5,000 for her funeral expenses. The account collected over $40,000 before it was shut down by GoFundMe after the case took a bizarre twist.
According to court documents, investigators say Edwards is the father of Burger King employee Mariah Edwards who was working with Niesha at the time of the robbery.
Mariah told investigators that the botched robbery was staged with the help of her father and Niesha. She said Ellis was not in on the robbery.
Mariah confessed that the robbery was planned for a time when the Burger King register was expected to be full of cash.
However, Antoine Edwards told police his daughter was not involved, and that Niesha was his only accomplice. He is being held on $100,000 bail.
Niesha’s mother, Liceal Brazell, denied the allegations that her daughter was involved in staging the robbery.
She told FOX6, “It’s really making me mad, it’s making me angry. You told so many different lies, now you’re going to tell more lies. That’s not going to help you. That’s not going to help your father.”
GoFundMe has frozen the more than $40,592 collected for Niesha’s funeral expenses.
A message on the account reads:
“This fundraiser is no longer accepting donations. If you are the organizer, beneficiary, team member, or donor, sign in to see additional information.”
GoFundMe prohibits raising funds for people involved in criminal activity. If it is determined that Niesha was an accomplice in the robbery, the money will be refunded to donors.