Tenn. Police Officer Killed, 2 Others Wounded in Shootout with Teens

April 12, 2024
Memphis Police Officer Joseph McKinney was shot and killed and two other officers were injured when suspects inside a suspicious vehicle opened fire, leading to a gun battle and brief chase.

By Jessica Schladebeck

Source New York Daily News

A Memphis police officer and an 18-year-old suspect were both fatally wounded during an early-morning gun battle in Memphis on Friday, which also left another suspect and two more officers wounded.

Struggling at times to contain her grief, Interim Memphis Police Chief C.J. Davis identified the officer killed as Joseph McKinney, a member of the force since 2020. She said a second officer was in “non-critical condition” at Regional One, while a third was grazed by a bullet during the shootout and treated at the scene.

“This morning, the men and women of the Memphis Police Department are hurt. As chief of police, I am hurt,” she told reporters during an emotional press conference outside the hospital.

“Today we are here, not just to talk about what happened last night,” she continued, “but to make an appeal to our community that gun violence has to stop.”

Police were responding to reports of a suspicious vehicle when the deadly confrontation unfolded in Southwest Memphis, near Horn Lake Road and Charter Avenue, on Friday around 2:20 a.m. Those inside the car began shooting as soon as officers attempted to approach, forcing them to return fire, Davis said. The suspects tried to flee, leading officers on a brief chase, which came to an end in the 400 block of Hewlett Road.

The suspects, a 17-year-old and an 18-year-old, “were apprehended at that time,” Davis added. “One suspect was taken into custody immediately. One fled the scene and was located nearby.”

They were both transported to Regional One in critical condition, one of whom has since died from their wounds. Davis noted the elder suspect was arrested last month in a stolen vehicle. At the time, they had an illegal semi-automatic rifle with a Glock switch, which converted the weapon into a fully automatic machine gun, she said. They were charged with stealing two cars before being released without bond.

Neither suspect has been identified.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has been called in to investigate the shooting.

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