MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Authorities searched the streets of Memphis on Thursday for a suspect who was involved in a police chase that led to the fatal shooting of another man who fired at officers.
Law enforcement officers assembled at the scene of the shooting near a church in a south Memphis neighborhood, trying to piece together the circumstances of Wednesday's frantic pursuit and deadly shootout. They cleared the scene Thursday afternoon and reopened streets that had been blocked since the shooting.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation — the state police agency in charge of the shooting investigation — says officers in two Memphis Police Department cruisers tried to stop a Chevrolet Impala for a routine traffic violation, but the driver of the car sped away.
Officers started to pursue the car but backed off, bureau spokesman Josh DeVine said. Police continued to watch the car as it drove recklessly through the neighborhood and crashed. The men ran away from the crash scene, and an officer from each police vehicle gave chase on foot, DeVine said.
During the pursuit, one of the men from the Impala opened fire on the officers, DeVine said. The two Memphis officers returned fire, shooting the suspect, he said. DeVine didn't indicate in what part of the body the man was shot.
"The officers were coming under gunfire from one of the suspects," DeVine told reporters Wednesday night. "The officers fired their weapons several times, striking the suspect, who later died."
The second man eluded officers.
DeVine said the state agency was not releasing the name of the dead man yet because relatives needed to be notified.
People who identified themselves as family members of the person who was shot were crying and hugging near the St. Andrew AME Church, where dozens of people were gathered, some screaming expletives at police and reporters. More than two dozen marked and unmarked police cars lined the streets, and people had to walk around the large crime scene to pick up their children at school or get to their homes.
The identities of the officers involved in the shooting have not been released, but DeVine did say that one is white and one is black. The dead man was black.
DeVine said Thursday that authorities seized a drone believed to have been flown by a resident over the crime scene on Wednesday. Police think it may have taken photos or video.
In July, a 19-year-old black man was fatally shot by a white police officer during a fight at a traffic stop in Memphis. The shooting of Darrius Stewart led to peaceful rallies and protests, and calls for the officer, Connor Schilling, to be charged. A grand jury declined to indict Schilling. Federal prosecutors are also investigating that shooting.