MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Social media rumors may have fueled a deadly shooting outside a Memphis shopping center.
Nazario Garcia was gunned down Sunday in his white work van.
That’s the same type of vehicle at the center of viral Facebook posts -- claiming men are using the vans for sex trafficking.
“I heard pow, some shooting, pow pow. I didn’t know what was going on. I just layed down in my car,” said Jerry Coleman, witness.
Jerry Coleman was in the parking lot of a Raleigh shopping center, outside the Goodwill store, when the shooting happened Sunday morning.
According to a police affidavit, 60-year-old Nazario Garcia was parked in the lot when Favian and Miguel Effinger showed up. The report says they confronted Garcia “without provocation” and opened fire on Garcia.
He tried to get away but lost control of his white van and crashed into a shopping cart, ending up on the curb.
Before the shooting, police say the brothers’ mother, Gjuandell Effinger, sent a video on social media -- claiming the occupant of a white van with the same tag number as Garcia had tried to abduct her from the parking lot of a nearby Walmart.
Investigators say there’s “no evidence to support an attempted abduction.”
Gjuandell Effinger’s Facebook page shows post after post she shared from other users warning about white vans being used for sex trafficking -- warning not to even go to your car if you see a van like that.
There are also several shares about abducted children and women. She also shared a warning about white vans that Facebook flagged as false.
The white van warning has been shared all across the country.
In Detroit, a handyman was harassed by people because he drove a white van.
He said it started with this video of a woman who claimed she saw a young girl being forced into the back of a van. It also went viral on Facebook.
The Effinger trio appeared in court Wednesday. Miguel and Favian are charged with first degree murder. Their mother is charged with solicitation first degree murder.
Nazario Garcia died at the Regional Medical Center.
The trio is expected back in court on Tuesday.