A Michigan vigilante who amassed thousands of social media followers with his unauthorized hunts for pedophiles was shot and killed in a confrontation with two teenagers, police said.
Robert Wayne Lee, 40, of Pontiac, was better known as Boopac Shakur online, where he would often pose as a 15-year-old girl to expose alleged predators.
Authorities say that Lee accused one of the teens at a local restaurant of being a pedophile and punched him—leading one of the boys to pull out a knife and the other to fire a gun. The suspects fled but were later arrested.
The Oakland County Sheriff’s Office noted Lee’s unsanctioned activities—and their uneven results—in a news release about his slaying.
“His one-man crusade has led to the arrest and criminal charges being filed against several men,” it said. “He has also mistakenly identified someone as a sexual predator who was not.”
Videos that Lee posted to Facebook showed him confronting the men he corresponded with while posing as a minor in the style of the show To Catch a Predator.
A GoFundMe to benefit his daughter said Lee “dedicated his life to protecting the innocence of our children from those with malicious intentions. Through his courageous efforts, he successfully exposed 132 predators who sought to harm our community's youth.”
However, in January, police confirmed just four arrests based on Lee’s videos, according to the Oakland Press. Police had asked Lee to stop his sting operations, but he persisted and even announced classes for others who wanted to follow suit.
Lee denied he was a vigilante. “I’m a concerned citizen,” he told the Press. “A vigilante is doing police work without a badge.”
“I’m just putting the fishing pole in the water and seeing who’s biting,” he added.