Friends remember victim of 2016 Westy’s shooting

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - One of the men shot in a crime spree in downtown Memphis a year ago has died from his injuries.

Loved ones of Josh Walton said he passed away earlier this week. Now, they're sharing their memories of him and pleading for justice in the wake of the ordeal that gripped the community.

"He was out to eat and then boom," said Walton's longtime friend Marsha Walker.

It was June 4, 2016, when Josh Walton and another man were shot on the patio of downtown Memphis restaurant Westy's.

Investigators said Justin Welch was behind the wild crime spree, shooting another man at Bass Pro downtown, stealing a car, and then running over and killing MPD officer Verdell Smith at Third and Beale.

"I don't think it's hit me that he's gone, the last person I ever thought would be taken down by one shot," Marsha said.

Walker said his condition worsened over the past few months. She said Walton went blind and even lost his voice. The strong outdoorsman was reduced to someone unrecognizable.

"To see him broken down like that was unimaginably horrible for all of us," Marsha said.

Friends said Walton was loyal and honest.

"He was always doing things more in terms of other people than himself," said Patrick Jeans.

Now, they are calling for justice.

Welch faces a long list of charges, including first-degree murder.

"I really do want to see justice served with this guy, and I hope the prosecutor looks at it and charges the guy with at least another homicide," said Thomas Walker.

Walton's daughter Emily plans to get a locket, so she can carry a piece of her dad around her neck with her always.

"I want to remember him," said Emily.

Shelby County D.A.'s said they will review for additional charges for Welch as soon as they receive the medical examiner's report.

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