Robert Wayne Lee speaks with a local media station in Detroit in January 2023. (Screengrab via WXYZ)
A Michigan man famous for posing as an underage girl on social media in order to catch alleged sexual predators was fatally shot last week during a confrontation with two teenagers, authorities say.
Robert Wayne Lee, 40, known as “Boopac Shakur” online, produced content reminiscent of “To Catch a Predator,” a reality TV show where the host poses as an underage victim online in order to lure alleged sex criminals to law enforcement.
On Sept. 29, he was shot and killed by a 17-year-old with an 18-year-old accomplice, according to the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office.
At the time of the incident, Lee was in a restaurant in Pontiac, near the corner of North Perry and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard when “[H]e confronted the two suspects who were seated at a table,” the OCSO said in a press release. “The situation rapidly escalated and one of the suspects fired a pistol, leaving the victim fatally wounded.”
The fatal shooting occurred around 10:30 p.m.
Law enforcement says that Lee accused the 18-year-old of being a pedophile and punched him, according to Detroit-based ABC affiliate WXYZ, causing the teen to allegedly pull out a knife. The younger suspect then allegedly pulled out a gun and shot Lee multiple times.
The victim was rushed to a nearby hospital where he later succumbed to his injuries, the sheriff’s office said.
The two teenagers ran from the restaurant, according to the OCSO. A search that same night with a K-9 unit proved unsuccessful. The next day, however, two suspects were taken into custody by detectives working in conjunction with agents for the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).
“I am extremely proud of the work of our Pontiac substation team,” Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said in the press release. “Within hours, they have taken two individuals into custody in connection with this homicide.”
The sheriff’s office also took note of Lee’s “active” social media presence where he ran a Facebook page with some 11,000 followers.
On Instagram, Lee has over 50,000 followers.
The press release explains that, while posing as a 15-year-old girl, his “one-man crusade” led to criminal charges being filed against several men. The agency also noted Lee made at least one false accusation.
The sheriff himself went on to caution against vigilantism.
“While we certainly understand his desire to hold child predators accountable, many times well-intentioned individuals who engaged in this don’t know the standard of evidence required for convictions and often underestimate the potential for violence confronting a suspected predator,” Bouchard said. “They feel trapped and often lash out violently. When we have arrested predators in such circumstances, they have rammed police cars and exhibited other violent behavior in attempts to escape.”
The sheriff’s office said they anticipate formal charges will be filed soon. No names for the suspects, thus far, have been released.
Law&Crime reached out to the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office for additional details on this story but no response was immediately forthcoming at the time of publication.
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