A Memphis police officer was charged with kidnapping and killing a man while on duty, authorities said.
Patric Ferguson, 29, was taken into custody Sunday on charges of kidnapping and shooting 30-year-old Robert Howard after forcing him in the backseat of a squad car, according to a statement by the Memphis Police Department.
Ferguson, who was on duty and “acting on his own accord,” allegedly drove Howard about a third of a mile away from the victim’s home where he killed him with his personal handgun, police said.
Howard was last seen at his home on Tuesday around 5 p.m., according to police. The next day, he was reported missing after his girlfriend tracked his phone but was unable to locate him, police said.
Ferguson was arrested and immediately fired Sunday, according to the police department. The former police officer was charged with first-degree murder, first-degree murder in perpetration of aggravated kidnapping, especially aggravated kidnapping, abuse of a corpse and fabricating and tampering with evidence, police said.
Ferguson had been employed by the MPD since October 2018, according to police.
A second person, Joshua Rogers, 28, was arrested for allegedly assisting Ferguson to relocate the victim’s body, police said. Rogers was charged with accessory after the fact, abuse of a corpse and fabricating and tampering with Evidence.
It wasn’t immediately clear Monday whether Ferguson and Rogers have lawyers.
Ferguson was being held on no bond while Rogers was released on a $25,000 bond, according to the Shelby County Jail.
A hearing was set for Ferguson and Rogers on Monday morning, according to jail records.
The Shelby County Public Defender's Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday.
"No one is above the law," MPD Director Michael Rallings said in a statement. "Knowing that a Memphis Police Officer, someone who took an oath to protect and serve, made the decision to commit this horrific crime is devastating."