MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE – On Thursday afternoon Memphis police officers arrived at Clearbrook Village Apartments to assist MLGW (Memphis Light Gas & Water) with a utility theft complaint.
While at the apartment complex, officers were flagged down by a neighbor who said they’d heard multiple gunshots coming from a neighboring apartment unit.
Witnesses began yelling, “It’s a robbery happening!”
That’s when officers saw flames and smoke shooting out of one of the apartment units. It was the same unit from which witnesses said they saw a man exiting through a window.
Officers then saw a man running away from the scene. The officers and the MLGW worker chased down and caught 18-year-old Aareon Berryman.
At the time of his arrest Berryman had in his possession, two guns – including an AR15, an extra loaded magazine, 2 jars of marijuana, 3 plastic bags of marijuana, ecstasy, several prescription pill bottles and charcoal lighter fluid.
He was caught red-handed.
When asked about the occupants, Berryman told police there were two other people inside the burning apartment where he “left them.”
Firefighters found the body of Brandon Allen lying on the kitchen floor and the body of Regina Allen in the back bedroom. They were pronounced dead on the scene.
During video footage from the scene, more gunshots can be heard going off. According to the Memphis Fire Department, ammunition inside the apartment exploded in the fire.
Officials said 8 to 16 apartment units were completely or partially burned out in the process.
According to police, Berryman confessed to killing both victims, taking their property and then setting the unit on fire.
The Allens’ deaths have been ruled a homicide.
Aareon Berryman, 18, has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder, first-degree murder in perpetration of especially aggravated robbery, especially aggravated robbery, aggravated arson, possession of marijuana with the intent to manufacture or sell, and possession of ecstasy with the intent to manufacture or sell.
Brandon loved to show off his life on social media. He recently showed Regina celebrating her 32nd birthday.
If not for the utility theft call, this could have been an unsolved crime. Great job to the officer, the city employee and citizen who flagged the officer down.