Memphis Faith Leader Fatally Shot Outside Her Home During Carjacking

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A faith leader was fatally shot outside her Memphis home during a carjacking on Monday afternoon, according to a local United Methodist Church conference.

Rev. Dr. Autura Eason-Williams was taken to hospital but later pronounced dead, according to police. The incident occurred at 4:15 p.m. at 1000 Whitehaven Lane.

Police noted that “[t]he suspects were 3 Black males in a 4-door hatchback.”

Memphis Police Chief CJ Davis, at a press conference on Tuesday, said there were juveniles currently in custody and labeled as persons of interest, WBIR reported. Their identities have not been released, as the investigation is still ongoing.

Eason-Williams, who was the district superintendent of the United Methodist Church’s Tennessee-Western Kentucky Conference’s Metro District, leaves behind four children and her husband, FOX 13 noted.

After graduating from the University of Memphis and Memphis Theological Seminary, Eason-Williams went on to become a full-time minister in 1997 and started serving in the United Methodist Church in 2002 under appointment.

Her metro district held a gathering on Monday evening following her death and wrote in a statement earlier that day:

We ask your prayers tonight for the family and friends of Rev. Dr. Autura Eason-Williams who died this afternoon after being shot during a carjacking outside of her home. Autura was the District Superintendent of the conference’s Metro District.

May the love of Christ carry all those who love her during these days of grief ahead. We will rely on God together.

Violent crime increased in Shelby County, where Memphis is located, by 1.2 percent from 2020 to 2021, despite overall crime going down, according to the Memphis Shelby Crime Commission.

Furthermore, serious juvenile crimes increased by 20.7 percent in 2021 from the previous year. In Memphis alone, the murder rate increased from 44.8 deaths per 100,000 people in 2020 to 47.9 deaths per 100,000 people in 2021.

You can follow Ethan Letkeman on Twitter at @EthanLetkeman.


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