MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The U.S. Marshals Service in Memphis announced an arrest in a weekend murder that took a beloved neighborhood matriarch away from her family.
Tears and relief Tuesday night for Patricia Bryant's loved ones. They learned her accused killer was behind bars on the same night they held her candlelight vigil. Her front yard in Frayser filled up with people who considered “Miss Pat” like a mother or grandmother because she took such good care of them.
“It shows me that she’s very loved,” her daughter Latoya Cobbins told WMC Action News 5. “And that people really care about her. If she could do everything for everybody out here, she’d do it.”
The 55-year-old great-grandmother was struck down Saturday by a bullet meant for someone else, fired during a fight that started down the street from her home. She was outside, holding her great-grandchild in her arms when she was shot in the chest. Her death was captured on Facebook video, evidence reviewed by authorities.
“When they killed my wife, they killed me," said James Bryant, married to Pat for 25 years. “They killed everybody in her family. Everybody."
A spokesperson for the U.S. Marshals said the suspect in her murder, Darrell Peterson, turned himself in Tuesday. Bryant’s husband shouted out “thank you” when asked about his wife’s suspected killer being in custody.
Her daughter exhaled deeply, saying it was a relief.
“It’s better for him to be in there,” said Cobbins. “It’s better for him to be in there."
A teddy bear memorial marks the spot where Miss Pat died. Candles spell out her name on the sidewalk. Vigil participants shouted out “We love you Miss Pat,” as they released dozens of balloons. And as helium-filled stars and hearts lifted up to the heavens, her devastated husband made an emotional request.
“To everybody in the City of Memphis, man y’all, put them guns away,” said Bryant. "Put them guns away. Throw them away, man. Do something with the guns. It’s getting ridiculous out here.”
Peterson faces multiple charges including second-degree murder and being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.