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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Tennessee

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Three Armed Carjackers Who Shot Federal Agents Plead Guilty

Memphis, TN – Barium Martin, 19, Julius Armstrong, 19, and Adairius Armstrong, 20, have pled guilty 
to armed carjacking crimes.  Joseph C. Murphy, Jr., United States Attorney, announced the guilty 
verdict today.

According to information presented in court, in May of 2021, Barium Martin, Adairius Armstrong, 
Julius Armstrong, and another co-defendant participated in a string of carjackings, which 
culminated in the shooting of two federal agents.

On May 5, 2021, two suspects approached victims "C.N." and "M.C." while they were sitting in C.N.'s 
vehicle. One suspect, later identified as Adairius Armstrong, demanded the victims get out of the 
vehicle as he pointed an assault rifle at their heads. The suspects took the victims' belongings 
and fled in C.N.'s 2015 Hyundai. The suspects returned shortly and stole M.C.'s 2012 Mercedes.

On May 6, 2021, Adairius Armstrong and Julius Armstrong approached victim "L.P." while she was 
sitting in her 2017 Nissan. Adairius Armstrong tapped on L.P.'s window with an assault rifle and 
demanded the keys. L.P. fled as Julius Armstrong got into the passenger seat armedwith a handgun. 
The two then stole L.P.'s vehicle and fled the scene.

On May 7, 2021, Julius Armstrong approached victim "N.R." armed with an assault rifle as she 
checked the tire of her 2021 Nissan. Julius Armstrong demanded that N.R. give her phone, purse, and 
keys to him. The gunman got into her car and drove eastbound on Jackson Avenue along with a Honda 
CRV, driven by Barium Martin. Adairius Armstrong also participated, his fingerprints were found 
inside of the carjacked vehicle. Also on May 7, 2021, at 1:40 a.m., victim “E.G.,” was traveling 
south on Montgomery approaching the Parkway when a tan SUV cut her off, making the victim come to a 
complete stop. A gunman stepped out of the passenger side of the SUV holding an assault rifle, 
demanding her to get out of the car as he threatened to kill her. The victim got out of the vehicle and the suspect got in her car and both vehicles left traveling south. Barium Martin was identified as 
the driver of the tan SUV.

Later that same day, at approximately 2:30 p.m., special agents from the ATF and officers from the 
Memphis Police Department Violent Crime Unit, received information that MPD patrol officers pursued 
and lost track of another stolen vehicle, but later recovered the vehicle near Alabama and Mosby. 
Video from the area showed that four suspects emerged from the stolen vehicle, including one 
carrying what appeared to be a rifle. ATF and VCU officers observed a vehicle of interest and began 
to follow it near Dunlap and Mosby. The suspect vehicle then turned on Leath and stopped.  A 
sergeant with MPD pulled his vehicle in front of the suspect vehicle.

An ATF agent observed a man wearing a red hoodie, later identified as Barium Martin, outside of the 
vehicle raise a rifle at the officers. Another witness observed Julius Armstrong raise a rifle and 
begin shooting. The witness observed Julius Armstrong move toward the driveway as he shot his 
weapon before he jumped a gate and ran. The suspects fired approximately 10-20 shots at the special 
agent and sergeant, who were both struck by gunfire but survived their injuries and have since 
returned to full duty status.

On August 10, 2022, Barium Martin pled guilty to two carjackings, the use of a firearm during a 
carjacking, and the shooting of the ATF agent and Memphis Police Sergeant. Sentencing for Martin is 
set for November 10, 2022, before United States District Judge Thomas L. Parker.

On August 11, 2022, Adairius Armstrong pled guilty to four carjackings and the use of a firearm 
during two of the carjackings. He faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 14 years in federal prison. 
Sentencing for Adairius Armstrong is set for November 10,2022, before United States District Judge 
Thomas L. Parker.

On August 18, 2022, Julius Armstrong pled guilty to two carjackings, the use of a firearm during a 
carjacking, the shooting of the ATF Agent and Memphis Police Sergeant, and the discharge of a 
firearm during the shooting of the officers. He faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 17 years in 
federal prison. Sentencing for Julius Armstrong is set for November 9, 2022, before United States 
District Judge Thomas L. Parker.

There is one remaining co-defendant who is currently scheduled for trial in November 2022. The 
charges and allegations in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed 
innocent unless and until proven guilty. There is no parole in the federal system.

“These violent offenders victimized and terrorized five citizens and two law enforcement officers. 
They repeatedly showed total disregard for human life and personal property. Carjackings and the 
prevalence of guns on our streets continue to plague our communities at alarming and unacceptable 
rates and the ATF will continue to work with our state, local, and federal partners to remove 
violent criminals from the communities that we serve,” said Mickey French, ATF Special Agent in 
Charge, Nashville Field Office.

“This conviction sends a clear message that offenders who commit armed carjackings and shoot at our 
law enforcement partners will be expeditiously caught, prosecuted, and ultimately held accountable 
for their violent actions,” said Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s 
Memphis Division, Douglas M. Korneski. “The FBI and our federal and local partners will continue to 
combine our resources and share our expertise to target those who perpetrate similar heinous acts."

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), FBI’s 
Safe Streets Task Force, the Multi-Agency Gang Unit, and with assistance from the Shelby County 
District Attorney’s Office.

Assistant United States Attorney’s Dean DeCandia, Elizabeth Rogers, and Greg Wagner are prosecuting 
this case on behalf of the government.


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Updated August 23, 2022