NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A mentor group actively involved in helping plan vigils for the South Nashville man killed outside his home was heartbroken to learn one of the girls involved is also in their the program.
Bishop Marcus Campbell told News 2 he first met Myeisha Brown toward the end of October.
The juvenile court system required the 16-year-old to enroll in a program run by Campbell and his wife Stacy.
The Growing in Faith Together, or GIFT, program aims to help at-risk youth turn their lives around.
“She was very quiet, very observant, trying to figure out if she could trust us or not,” said Bishop Campbell.
Brown’s mentors told News 2 she eventually began to open up and attend sessions where she talked about her hopes and dreams.
“She wanted to be a doctor. She wants to be a doctor, because we talk about present tense things,” said Rev. Rita Blue, who also worked as a mentor to Brown.
“For her, it was about seeing her mother being sick and wanting to make a change, but also seeing how other people in her family had died or been in prison and not wanting to take the same path,” she continued.
Brown was active in the GIFT program for two weeks prior to Ruxin Wang’s shooting death. The 74-year-old man was outside his South Nashville home retrieving his trash can when he was allegedly shot by Brown. She was reportedly with three other teens at the time.
She has since been charged with criminal homicide in the case, and the Davidson County District Attorney’s Office said it is seeking to try Brown as an adult.
“If only we could have met her sooner,” said Stacy Campbell, founder and CEO of GIFT. “There are situations with her mom being sick with cancer that might have played a role.”
She added, “What if we could have met them and done a home visit early on because we do home visits and school visits. What if we could have done that and actually been in her territory. Maybe she would have opened up a little more or maybe we would have seen something that we could have helped with right on the spot but, what if you know?”
Bishop Campbell said he was with Brown in the moments leading up to her arrest on Wednesday.
“I had to go back and let her know that officers were outside waiting on her, and I pulled her out of class without letting the whole class know what was going on,” he said.
He continued, “When I pulled her out of class and talked to her, her face just dropped. I got her brother to out of class with the guys and he came back and they hugged and I told her, ‘Keep your head up. If you didn’t do it, it will come out. If you did, still keep your head up. We all make mistakes.’”
Brown appeared in court for her first court appearance on Thursday where two teenagers and police detective testified. Police have not recovered a gun in the case.