WPPD seeks info in Bryan Union Hall shooting

Josh Presley

Nearly one week after the shooting death of Dajah Shaw, the West Point Police Department are seeking community assistance in identifying and apprehending the shooter. Shaw, 21, of West Point was killed during a concert at the Bryan Union Hall late Thanksgiving night, and Police Chief Tim Brinkley said he believed someone in attendance had the shooter on camera.
“We know there’s lots of video out there from the incident,” Brinkley said. “We’ve reviewed some that were posted to social media, but we feel the critical piece of information has been withheld so far. We feel confident that somebody out there probably has the shooter on video.”
The shooting occurred during a concert from Memphis rapper MoneyBagg Yo. According Brinkley, investigators recovered shell casings from at least two different weapons at the scene, and a ballistics report had been completed.
“It’s not clear who started the shooting or why,” Brinkley said in a previous interview. “These incidents are particularly challenging for investigators because of the large number of people and the low lighting of the venue that tend to distort the perception of any witnesses.”
He said the investigation had been hampered by lack of cooperative witnesses.
“I don’t think that many of the witnesses who we know are out there are afraid of retaliation,” Brinkley said. “I just think they really don’t want to get deeply involved. Even though we keep informant‘s identity strictly confidential, we constantly struggle against the ‘code of the street’ concept. A lot of our younger generation consider themselves bound to this unwritten code that you don’t trust or cooperate with the police, no matter what. That kind of attitude is detrimental to our criminal justice system and our communities as a whole.”
He said investigators did know that multiple shots are fired inside the building from at least two different locations. According to Brinkley, one of the things the department had been looking into was the amount of security on site at the Bryan Union Hall during the incident.
“Whoever sponsors events like this are responsible for providing security, but there is no ordinance that they have to register with the city or police department before hosting a special event,” he said.
Brinkley proposed a special event ordinance to the West Point Board of Selectmen in July 2014, and again in March 2015, though the concept remains tabled for discussion. For now, the city has no ordinance in place for a special event such as an indoor concert.
Shaw’s autopsy was completed on Monday, and her funeral will be at noon Friday at Third Mount Olive M.B. Church in West Point. Visitation will be from 3-6 p.m. Thursday at Carter’s Mortuary Service chapel.
No arrests had been made as of press time Wednesday, and the case remained under investigation. Anyone with more information, contact WPPD at 494-1244 or Golden Triangle Crime Stoppers at 1-800-530-7151.