Green Beetle employee shot in back while walking to car

(SOURCE: WMC Action News 5)
(SOURCE: WMC Action News 5)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Memphis Police Department is looking for three teens accused of shooting a man walking to his car in downtown Memphis on Tuesday night.

The shooting happened just before 10 p.m. in the 300 block of South Main Street.

"I think it's pretty startling that it happened right here," visitor Jess Foster said. "This is a pretty busy area and we come down here a lot."

Employees at the Green Beetle said Mike Nelson, one of their own, was shot Tuesday night.

According to the employees, a woman was initially approached by some men while she was trying to get in her car. But, she used pepper spray to scare them off.

Then, the men tried again. This time, they approached Nelson at the Green Beetle as he was in his car. Police said the suspects told Nelson to get out of the car and when he complied, he was shot.

Employees said Nelson was shot from behind.

One witness said he saw two men running east on Vance Street after hearing the gunfire.

Witnesses said they heard two gun shots, and when police arrived, they found Nelson shot next to a vehicle.

"Sitting there watching TV, I heard sounds like two gunshots," Keith Ashford said. "I opened up my blinds, and I saw two gentlemen walking pretty hastily east on Vance."

Ashford said when he saw the police cars, he knew it was a shooting.

"At first, I was like - could of been backfire," Ashford said. "Then about three minutes, it was police car here and I knew exactly what happened."

Nelson was taken to the hospital in critical condition. He is still in the hospital at last check.

Additionally, his coworkers at the Green Beetle have established a GoFundMe account to help pay for his medical expenses, rent, utilities, and provide care for his dog.

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