Breaking News Emails
A Memphis cop was struck and killed by a fleeing triple-shooting suspect late Saturday, according to police.
The Memphis Police Department said two men were shot just before 10 p.m local time (11 p.m. ET) at a downtown bar named Westy's. The suspect then ran across the street and shot a third man, according to NBC station WMC.
Police said the victims from the bar were taken to the hospital in critical condition while the third man was hospitalized in non-critical condition.
The suspect — described only as a black male — fled the scene in a silver vehicle, according to Memphis Police Director Mike Rallings.
Rallings said that Officer Verdell Smith was struck by the suspect's car about a half hour after the shootings. The suspect ran from his car and was taken into custody after a "brief foot chase," police added.
Smith was taken to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries, Rallings told an early-morning press conference. He said the suspect has also been hospitalized in non-critical condition and no charges have yet been filed.
Smith, 46, had been with the Memphis Police Department for 18 years. He leaves behind a fiance, children and his father, according to the department.
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."