Police: Officers fatally shoot man, searching for 1 other

AP News
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Posted: Jan 27, 2016 10:33 PM
Police: Officers fatally shoot man, searching for 1 other

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Memphis police fatally shot one man and were still looking for another involved in a chase Wednesday, authorities said.

The incident began when officers in two Memphis police cruisers tried to stop a Chevrolet Impala for a routine traffic violation but the driver of the car drove away, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation spokesman Josh DeVine said.

Officers started to pursue the car but backed off for safety reasons, DeVine said. Police continued to watch the car as it drove recklessly through a south Memphis neighborhood and crashed.

Two men in the car then fled on foot and an officer from each police vehicle gave chase, he said.

A third officer, a Shelby County sheriff's deputy, was in the area and also responded to the scene.

During the foot chase, one of the men from the Impala opened fire on the officers, DeVine said. He said the two Memphis officers returned fire, shooting the suspect, who died on the scene. He didn't indicate in what part of the body the man was shot but did note that he was not in custody at the time.

The second man who fled the car had not been located, and a search for him was still underway Wednesday night.

DeVine said the TBI was not releasing the identity of the dead man yet because the next of kin needed to be notified.

People who identified themselves as relatives 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. More than two dozen marked and unmarked police cars lined the streets.

The identities of the officers involved in the shooting had not been released, but DeVine did say that one is white and one is black. The dead man was black. Memphis officers involved in shootings are routinely placed on administrative leave.

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, but federal prosecutors are investigating the shooting.