Memphis/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on April 12, 2024
Memphis Police Officer and Suspect Dead After Southwest Memphis Shootout, Other Officers InjuredSource: Thomas R Machnitzki, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

A deadly exchange of gunfire in Southwest Memphis has resulted in the deaths of a Memphis Police officer and an 18-year-old suspect, alongside injuries to additional officers and another suspect. Officer Joseph McKinney, who joined the department in 2020, was fatally shot in the altercation that occurred early Friday morning. The identity of the deceased suspect has not yet been released by officials.

According to WREG, two other officers were caught in the line of fire: one was treated at the scene after being grazed by a bullet, while another was initially hospitalized in critical condition but has since been upgraded to non-critical status. A 17-year-old suspect was also injured during the shootout and is now in custody.

Memphis Police Chief C.J. Davis, profoundly impacted by the event, conveyed her emotions outside Regional One hospital envisioning a future where gun violence is eradicated from community streets. "As chief of police, I am hurt right now," she said, as quoted by WREG, adding, "Today we are here, not just to talk about what happened last night, but to make an appeal to our community that gun violence has to stop."

The shootout reportedly occurred after police responded to calls about a suspicious black car in the area of Hewlett Road and Horn Lake Road. FOX10TV noted the incident took place near Shelby Drive around 2 a.m. Memphis Mayor Paul Young also addressed the incident, emphasizing the importance of accountability and collective action during a time of mourning for the community. "We want to protect our community. Our young people are depending on us to get this right," Young stated, according to The Commercial Appeal.

While the investigation continues, both the Shelby County District Attorney's Office and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation have been notified, with the latter leading its inquiry into the tragic occurrences of that night. The teenager who lost his life had been arrested in March, Chief Davis remarked, a fact not yet independently verified by The Commercial Appeal.