It is a tragic case DeSoto police say they’ve never seen before.
As friends and loved ones gathered to mourn the murder of a promising junior Olympic boxer, police say the victim’s brother tried to take matters into his own hands, only to fatally target the wrong person.
By all accounts, Camran Collier had a lot of promise. He was dedicated to supporting young Black entrepreneurs in DeSoto. He also joined the military after graduating high school.
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The 19-year-old was also a gifted boxer who made it to the junior Olympics, according to his longtime coach and mentor Sam Arnold.
“Cam was a very gentle spirit,” said Arnold. “My son and Cam had been friends since they both went to DeSoto and they were both boxers. Cam was a great kid. I never had a problem with him at all. Nobody ever had anything bad to say about Cam. He brought light to us as a team.”
Arnold said although Collier was known for body shots in the ring, “his heart is what really stood out.”
Police say Collier was shot and killed while in his car along Westlake Drive in DeSoto on April 22.
Detectives believe the motive was a robbery.
The spokesman for the police department, Cpl. Pete Schulte, said the department can only say they’ve identified the suspect and the case is moving through the criminal justice process.
A few days after Collier’s murder, DeSoto registered more gun violence.
“This is the first time in my career that I have seen social media cause the death of somebody who was innocent,” said Schulte. “I just hope people will just think about that when they start spreading rumors and false information on social media, that it can have an effect.”
Police responded to another deadly shooting during a "balloon release" in Collier’s honor.
Norman Collier, 22, is accused of seeking revenge in his younger brother’s homicide.
“Somebody identified Kolby Graham as the shooter of Camran Collier,” said Schulte. “Norman Collier believed those posts on Instagram and when Kolby Graham showed up to the balloon release vigil Sunday, [Norman Collier] walked up and shot him in the head.”
Arnold called it a never-ending cycle of young Black lives, full of potential, taken by senseless acts of gun violence.
“It’s just sad,” he said. “That’s why I’m so active with those guys. I’m trying to be the light that shines, that directs them in the right path.”
Norman Collier now faces a capital murder charge for the death of Kolby Graham. The unidentified suspect in his brother’s murder also faces the same charge.