June 09--A wave of relief rushed over Eric Toler when Shelby County Sheriff's Office spokesman Chip Washington gave the thumbs up Monday.
After a midday standoff in which a suspect and the police traded gunfire at a North Memphis home, Toler's friend, Rodenick Winston, had surrendered to deputies. No one was injured.
The incident began around 11:30 a.m. as sheriff's deputies tried to execute a search warrant for narcotics in the 800 block of Maple Drive, near Jackson Avenue west of Hollywood.
When deputies arrived, two men were outside of the home. Three men, including Winston, were inside. Two of them walked out of the house, but Winston remained.
Winston started shooting and deputies returned fire, but no one was hit.
"It could've been a lot worse," said Toler, 23. "I love him. I didn't want to see anything happen to him."
Deputies, family and friends worked together for nearly two hours to get Winston to surrender.
"One of his friends got on the phone with him, his mother spoke with him, his sisters spoke with him as well, and I think in a collective and collaborative effort we were able to secure this thing safely with no harm of life," Washington said.
Deputies also called on the Memphis Police Department to assist with perimeter and traffic control.
"The cooperation between these two law-enforcement agencies is extraordinary, particularly in situations like this," Washington said.
"It's not about who, it's about what can we do and how can we assure that everybody can be safe."
The investigation is still under way, Washington said. No charges have been filed against Winston or the other four men.
Copyright 2014 - The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, Tenn.