An online personality who built a large following with his “To Catch a Predator”-style content was killed in Michigan after accusing a teenager of being a sex offender and then being killed by another teenager who took part in the confrontation, shot.
Robert Wayne Lee, 40, who was known to his more than 50,000 people Instagram A supporter known as “Boopac Shakur” died Friday after confronting an 18-year-old man following his undercover extrajudicial investigation, according to a statement from the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office.
According to the statement, Lee uses a method he has used in other confrontations published on social mediaconfronted the 18-year-old, who was accompanied by a 17-year-old, at a Pontiac restaurant.
The encounter “escalated quickly” when the 17-year-old pulled out a handgun and fired several shots at Lee before fleeing, authorities said.
According to authorities, Lee was taken to a hospital where he died from his injuries.
Both teens were arrested the following day and their cases have since been turned over to the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office.
In a statement to HuffPost on Monday, a spokesman for the district attorney’s office said the teens’ cases are currently being reviewed for possible murder charges.
Lee’s online following led to the arrest of several suspects in sex offender cases, including Jared Frederick Salisbury, an Oakland County sheriff’s deputy who was accused of trying to solicit a girl he believed to be 15 years old – who, however, was one of Lee’s undercover investigators. Salisbury was fired from the sheriff’s officeand his case has not yet been tried.
In an interview with The Oakland Press in JanuaryLee described himself as a “concerned citizen.”
“There are a lot of children out here and a lot of pedophiles,” Lee told the news outlet. “It could be people sitting next to you. I want to uncover as many as possible.”
Lee told the Oakland Press he experienced several difficult encounters, including one person who tried to hit him and another who pulled out pepper spray.
“There are people on my Instagram saying that they will follow me home, that they know what I look like and where I live, and that they will kill me if I don’t take the video down within six hours . That never happens,” he said.
Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard warned against private citizens taking the investigation into their own hands.
“While we certainly understand his desire to hold child abusers accountable, well-intentioned individuals who have engaged in such acts often do not know the evidence necessary for a conviction and often underestimate the potential for violence,” Bouchard said in the statement. “When we have arrested predators in these circumstances, they have rammed police cars and engaged in other violent behavior while attempting to escape.”
People in his community and others who followed him online described him as a hero. They showed their support on one Fundraising page created after his death. The money was to be used for funeral costs and his daughter’s future.
“He leaves a legacy of bravery and service that has impacted our lives forever,” organizers wrote.