Testimony Starts in Trial of 2 White Mississippi Men in Shooting at Black FedEx Driver

By Emily Wagster Pettus | August 17, 2023

BROOKHAVEN, Miss. (AP) — Witnesses began testifying Wednesday in the trial of two white men in Mississippi who are accused of chasing and shooting at a Black FedEx driver who had dropped off a package at a home.

Brandon Case and his father, Gregory Charles Case, charged with attempted first-degree murder, conspiracy and shooting into the vehicle driven by D’Monterrio Gibson in January 2022, sat with their attorneys in a small courtroom full of spectators.

Gibson, who was 24 at the time, was not injured. But the chase and gunfire led to complaints on social media of racism in Brookhaven, about an hour`s drive south of the state capital, Jackson.

This combination of booking photos provided by Lincoln County, Miss., Sheriff’s Department show Brandon Case, left, and his father, Gregory Charles Case, on Feb. 1, 2022. (Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department via AP, File)

District Attorney Dee Bates told the majority-white jury in his opening statement Tuesday that Gibson made deliveries for FedEx on Jan. 24, 2022, while driving a rental van with the Hertz logo on three sides. Gibson dropped off a package at a home on a dead-end road, Bates said. Gregory Case then used a pickup truck to try to block the van from leaving, and Brandon Case came outside with a gun, the prosecutor said.

As Gibson drove the van around the pickup truck, “shots are fired,” Bates said, with three rounds hitting the delivery van.

Gregory Case’s attorney, Terrell Stubbs, told jurors that his client saw a van outside his mother-in-law’s unoccupied home and went to check what was happening. Gregory Case was just going to ask the van driver what was going on, but the driver did not stop, Stubbs said.

The sun had already gone down. “It was completely dark, completely dark, and somebody was in the wrong place,” Stubbs said. “It wasn’t my client.”

The first witness Wednesday was a police dispatcher who said Gregory Case called first to report he had seen a suspicious vehicle near his home, and that the van almost ran over him. Audio of the call was played in court, with Case saying he wanted to know who owns the van and saying he thought the driver was up to “something that wasn’t good.”

The same dispatcher then testified that Gibson also called to report that someone shot at the van while he was delivering a package.

Gibson`s attorney, Carlos Moore, compared the episode to the killing of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man who was running empty-handed through a Georgia subdivision in 2020 when three white men — a father, son and neighbor — chased him down and blasted him with a shotgun.

During a news conference days after the confrontation, Gibson said he was wearing a FedEx uniform and driving the van FedEx had rented for his deliveries when he dropped off a package at a house. He said the driver of a pickup truck tried to cut him off as he left the driveway.

Gibson said he swerved around the truck and encountered a second man who was pointing a gun at the van and motioning him to stop. Gibson said the man fired as he drove away, damaging the van and packages inside. The pickup driver chased him to Interstate 55 near Brookhaven before ending the pursuit, he said.

Moore said Gibson is still employed by FedEx and is out on workers’ compensation leave. A judge dismissed Gibson`s federal lawsuit seeking $5 million from FedEx last week, writing that it failed to prove the company discriminated against him because of his race. That litigation also named the city of Brookhaven, the police chief and the Cases, and Moore said he plans to file a new civil suit in state court.

Outside the court on Tuesday, Moore said: “The family is cautiously optimistic that they’ll get justice here in Lincoln County.”

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