When a 16-year-old girl was shot and killed while working at a Burger King drive-thru in Milwaukee earlier this month, the horrific news reverberated around the nation. Tens of thousands of dollars in donations poured in and Niesha Harris-Brazell’s devastated family wondered how she could be taken “in the blink of an eye.”
But after spending two weeks piecing together events, investigators made the bombshell allegation in court documents on Friday that Harris-Brazell was killed in botched robbery that she had staged with her best friend and her best friend’s father.
Harris-Brazell, a dedicated student at Pulaski High School, was working a shift as a Burger King cashier on the evening of Jan. 2 with her best friend, who identified herself in media interviews as Mariah Edwards.
During their shirt, a black Chevy Impala pulled up to the drive-thru window, according to surveillance footage cited by authorities in court documents. Harris-Brazell turned to serve the supposed customer, when the driver pulled a gun, demanding cash.
The surveillance footage showed Harris-Brazell back away and begin to pull money from the register while apparently yelling for help. The driver, with the hood of his red jacket pulled low over his masked face, then hoisted himself through the window, waving a gun with one hand, and reaching for cash with the other, the court documents say.
The assailant then suddenly withdrew from the window and back into his car without the cash, before speeding off. At the same moment, Harris-Brazell fell to the ground from a gunshot.
“After I heard the shots go off, I ran to the front and I see my best friend on the floor just laying there saying she got shot,” Mariah told FOX6 in the days after.
Harris-Brazell was rushed to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
Investigators initially assumed that the hooded man in the window fired the shots that killed Harris-Brazell. But a closer look at the video footage showed that the gun he was waving was never fired, authorities said.
As outlined in criminal complaints, another camera mounted inside the restaurant revealed that the shots were…