Memphis, Tenn. Two people were injured in a downtown shooting spree on North Main about 10 p.m. Saturday according to police. They say the suspect then ran to Bass Pro Pyramid and shot a male employee.
A few blocks away from where the suspect had fled, Officer Smith was clearing the area of pedestrians. That’s when the suspect struck him.
Police said the suspect then fled in a vehicle and later struck Officer Verdell Smith, 46, who was pronounced dead from his injuries at 10:45 p.m. Saturday. Smith was an 18-year police veteran who is survived by a father, fiancé, son and two daughters. He was stationed at the Old Allen precinct.
“The unidentified gunman described by police as a black male hit Smith about one mile south while fleeing the second shooting. The suspect got out of the car to run away, but was captured shortly after the shootings.”
Rallings said. “Officer Smith was transported to Regional One in critical condition were he later succumbed to his injuries.”
Two people who were shot are in critical condition, the condition of the person from Bass Pro is non-critical condition.
The suspect was apprehended, but his name was not released. There was no motive for the shooting. The suspect too has also been hospitalized in non-critical condition and no charges have yet been filed.
Memphis Police Director Michael Rallings said at a press conference, “We are currently working several different scenes in connection with this incident. Details are still being gathered and no charges have been filed at this point due to the fact that this is an ongoing investigation.”
Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland urged the city to pray for Smith’s family and “to be grateful for the dangerous, important work” the city’s officers perform.
“I am angry this morning — angry at the senseless loss of a dedicated public servant, and angry at the absolutely unacceptable level of violence in our city,” he said in a statement. “We must not accept this as our norm. I most certainly will not, and I will continue to act to make our city safer.”
The Memphis Police Department est.1827 Posted the following on their Facebook wall:
Our hearts are heavy tonight due to the fact that we not only lost a fellow officer, but we lost a friend and family member.
Rest in peace Officer Verdell Smith.