Whitehaven activist shot and killed on same day she planned a community event to reduce crime

Whitehaven Activist Shot and Killed on Same Day She Planned to a Community Event to Reduce Crime
Published: Aug. 17, 2022 at 6:56 PM CDT

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Police say they know who they are looking for in the murder of a well-known Whitehaven activist.

Now the police need your help in locating her.

Thursday morning Memphis Police issued an arrest warrant for 32-year-old Tifanee Wright.

Wright is wanted for second-degree murder in the shooting death of Dr. Yvonne Nelson.

Police say this was not a random shooting, but the two knew each other.

Police say their investigation revealed that the shooting stemmed from an argument over money between Nelson and the alleged shooter.

Nelson’s daughter, Iman Mason, said Thursday that she does not recognize the suspect.

Ironically just before Nelson was shot to death, we know Nelson was continuing with her activism work.

Saturday morning, Nelson planned to be at Slave Haven Underground Railroad Museum with 20 to 25 Memphis youth.

“There were people who helped people who were in bondage, and she thought if these students could learn some lessons from the past that it would help them in their present life,” said the director of the museum Elaine Lee Turner.

Dr. Nelson was a known activist in the city.

She worked with the non-profit “My Zip” and served on the Memphis City Beautiful Commission.

Nelson was a tireless advocate for cleaning up her Whitehaven community, but it was another passion why Nelson asked Turner to help with a weekly project to allow children from her neighborhood to visit the museum.

“That was one of her main motivations to help solve some of the crime issues in our community,” said Turner. “She felt that if they had more positive information, learn about who they were and how important they were, they wouldn’t commit the crimes they are committing the day,” said Turner.

Logistical issues caused a last-minute cancellation of a visit with a promise to reschedule the following Saturday.

Unfortunately, that would never happen.

Several hours later, the 60-year-old was shot multiple shots just after 11 pm in the 5100 block of Yale Road.

Surveillance footage from Action News 5 shows a woman shooting at the ground; then, both her and Nelson go out of view.

Police say the suspect, now identified as Wright, left the scene in Nelson’s black Infiniti sedan.

“It is just so contradictory that this would happen to someone like her because all she wanted was the best for Memphis,” said Turner.

If you have any information about the whereabouts of Tifanee Wright, please call Crimestoppers at 901-528-CASH.

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