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Tennessee Man Charged in Rampage That Killed Cop, Left 3 Injured

A 21-year-old Tennessee man was charged Sunday with running over a police officer, killing him, and injuring three others during a weekend rampage in downtown Memphis, authorities said.

Justin Welch, who was being held at the Shelby County Jail, was charged with first-degree murder, three counts of attempted first-degree murder, vehicular homicide and other crimes, the Memphis Police Department said in a statement.

Justine Welch, 21, as seen in a booking photo as seen on June 5, 2016 Shelby County Sheriff's Office

Earlier Sunday, police said that Officer Verdell Smith, 46, died of his injuries after being struck by Welch’s vehicle — a car that NBC affiliate WMC reported was stolen.

Smith, an 18-year veteran, leaves behind a fiancée, a father and two children, Memphis Police Director Mike Rallings said.

The rampage began Saturday night, when Welch allegedly shot two men inside Westy’s, a bar in downtown Memphis at 10 p.m. local time (9 p.m. ET). He allegedly then ran across the street and shot an employee inside a hunting and fishing store, according to WMC.

Officer Verdell Smith Memphis Police Department

Citing witnesses, the station reported that Welch was acting “erratic” and pointing a gun at people inside the bar. The initial victims, who are 39 and 57, were transported to a local hospital in critical condition, WMC reported, while the 21-year-old store worker was briefly hospitalized.

Welch then fled the scene, police said, escaping authorities during a chase. A half hour later and roughly one mile south of Westy’s, he struck Smith, killing him, police said.

After a brief foot chase, Welch was captured.

In a statement early Sunday, Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland said he was “angry at the senseless loss of a dedicated public servant, and angry at the absolutely unacceptable level of violence in our city."