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Two shot dead amid July 4 celebrations in Memphis

/ Source: staff and news service reports

A police officer and another person died after being shot Sunday night in a Memphis hotel. A suspect was in custody.

Police Director Toney Armstrong said Officer Timothy Warren, a patrol officer with the department since 2003, died at Regional Medical Center.

Warren was among several officers responding to a call at the Doubletree Hotel around 7 p.m. Sunday. The hotel is located in the middle of the city's entertainment district, which was filled with people celebrating the Independence Day holiday.

Domestic dispute
A civilian victim was also shot and later died in what officials said started as a domestic dispute.

WMC-TV reported that police had responded earlier in the night to a disturbance call involving the same suspect, but let him go.

When they were called back, the officer who was shot took the stairs while other officers took the elevator.

Police cars and heavily armed officers swarmed the hotel and surrounding area. The hotel sits at a busy intersection adjacent to the historic Peabody hotel and the Memphis Redbirds minor-league stadium.

'Out of it'
A game was in progress and fireworks were planned after the game.

Citing a source, WMC reported that the suspect has a military background.

Joel Miller of Maryland was attending a family reunion at the hotel. He told The Commercial Appeal that he got in an elevator with the suspect, who was wearing shorts and a plaid shirt.

He "seemed off," Miller told the newspaper, "like he was out of it."

Miller said as the man got off on the third floor, he pulled a gun from his pocket.

"He looked at us and pointed his finger and did like this," Miller said, pretending to fire a weapon.