Mother of murdered TSU student pleas for witnesses to come forward

(Courtesy: Partners In The Struggle Inc.)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The mother of a teen killed on Tennessee State University’s campus almost six months ago is asking people to not be afraid to come forward with information to solve the case.

Cameron Selmon was shot and killed on campus on October 22, 2015.

According to Metro police, Selmon was playing dice when a fight broke out in an outside area near the president’s office. At least two men fired shots, killing Selmon and injuring three other nearby TSU students.

Stacie Payne is asking for anyone with information on her son's murder to come forward. (Photo: WKRN)
Stacie Payne is asking for anyone with information on her son’s murder to come forward. (Photo: WKRN)

Selmon was not a student at the school.

“It is heartbreaking to still not have answers after six months when we know someone out there has the key that can make or break this case by just coming forward,” said Stacie Payne, Selmon’s mother. “It is very heartbreaking.”

Police told News 2 they have received anonymous tips, but now need eyewitnesses who are willing to come forward.

There were at least 50 people in the area of the shooting and many used cell phones to take video.

“If they could just imagine for a second it was their mom who lost a child,” Payne said. “They would want the same thing I am desperately seeking.”

Metro police say only one person has turned over video, and it has not led to an arrest.

Payne has traveled to Nashville from Memphis several times to ask for answers and to meet with students. Since October, she has made seven trips.

“We need somebody to come forward and give her [the lead detective] the information that we need. We need somebody to ID the people who did it,” explained Payne.

On Thursday, she along with the lead detective in the case, once again pleaded for witnesses to come forward.

“We have had numerous Crime Stopper tips that we have investigated that lead us to two likely suspects, but like Ms. Payne said we need a witness to come forward,” Detective Melody Saxon said. “On the video, you see several students out there watching this incident, so someone knows what happened that night.”

Part of the challenge, according to police, is witnesses worried about retaliation or being called a “snitch.”

“That is something we run upon in the younger generation,” Detective Saxon told News 2. “They don’t want to come forward because they don’t want to be labeled a snitch.”

Detective Melody Saxon (Photo: WKRN)
Detective Melody Saxon (Photo: WKRN)

She continued, “There have been several cases that we could close out, but the witnesses fear retaliation, and they don’t want to be considered a snitch in their neighborhood.”

Metro police said protecting criminals does not help the community, because they will continue to target others.

“They will re-offend because they have the mentality that,’I got away with it once, and I will get away with it again,'”Saxon said.

For Payne the other concerning issue is that people her son called friends were with him when he was murdered, but they are not helping police.

“It hurts,” she said. “You think you have friends, but when it comes down to things like this, where are your friends when you actually need them?”

She told News 2 that the “no snitching” mentality is not helping anyone.

“Don’t think of it as snitching,” Payne said. “Think of it as surviving, because you are getting these people off the street.”

Three TSU students were also injured in the shooting. They were not at the dice game and are innocent bystanders.

Anyone with information about Selmon’s murder should call lead detective Melody Saxon at 615-862-7901.

Callers can remain anonymous, but Metro police need witnesses who are willing to meet them face-to-face.

Following Selmon’s murder, TSU announced security enhancements as part of a 10-Part Safety Enhancement Plan that included stricter enforcement of students wearing their student IDs when on campus.

Click here for complete coverage of the shooting. 


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