MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Another victim of a Downtown rampage that killed a police officer and left three people shot last June has died, more than a year after the attack.
Joshua Walton died Friday, according to Serenity Funeral Home, which is handling the services.
Walton had been hooked up to a breathing machine since he was shot between his collarbone and neck June 4, 2016 outside Westy’s in the Pinch District.
Over a year later, Westy’s ownerJake Schorr says he remembers finding out a gunman opened fire outside his restaurant like it was yesterday.
“Oh vividly, it’s something in life that you don’t forget,” he said.
The Walton family was sitting on the patio at Westy’s with one of their three daughters when a masked man walked up, cursed at the group and pulled out a gun.
He shot Walton and Abdul Sakan at the restaurant before running to nearby Bass Pro and shooting employee Christopher Dickens, then getting in a car and fatally running down Memphis Police Officer Verdell Smith on Beale Street.
Justin Welch, was identified police as the suspect in the rampage.
Welch was indicted in January on 14 felony counts including first-degree murder, three counts of murder in the perpetration of attempted first-degree murder, three counts of attempted first-degree murder, reckless vehicular homicide, evading arrest, theft over $10,000, theft over $1,000 and three counts of using a firearm in the commission of a dangerous felony.
A donation website describes Walton as someone who tried to make the world better through volunteer work.
His family made the difficult decision to take him off life support on Friday.
“It brought tears and I still have a tear from a minute ago talking about it,” Schorr said. “It’s so unnecessary. Completely unnecessary.”
Schorr says he can’t make sense of the violence but found comfort in supporting the victims’ loved ones, and recommends others try to do the same.
“Whether it’s a meal, the phone call, the visit, a card — support people who are hurt.”
Walton’s family did not want to comment Monday.
The District Attorney says her office will need Walton’s autopsy report before deciding on any new charges for Welch.
He’s currently being held in jail without bond for Officer Smith’s murder and is facing more than 20 felony counts.
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