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Tremaine Wilbourn, Suspect in Killing of Memphis Police Officer Sean Bolton, Surrenders

Officer Sean Bolton was shot multiple times while conducting a traffic stop in southeast Memphis at about 9:18 p.m. Friday night, police said.
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The man suspected of fatally shooting a Memphis police officer was taken into custody Monday after a nearly two-day manhunt.

Tremaine Wilbourn, 29, who is suspected of killing Memphis Police Officer Sean Bolton, 33, surrendered a bit before 5 p.m. (6 p.m. ET) to the U.S. Marshals Service office, according to police.

Wilbourn was being questioned Monday evening, said Memphis Director of Police Services Toney Armstrong, who added he wasn’t surprised the suspect surrendered.

"You have to understand this has been an exhaustive search," Armstrong said during a news conference. "I think he felt the walls closing in and thought it would be in his best interest to turn himself in."

Bolton was shot multiple times while conducting a traffic stop in southeast Memphis at about 9:18 p.m. (10:18 p.m. ET) Friday night, police said. The driver of the vehicle that was stopped turned himself in on Sunday, but was released without charge.

Investigators have determined that Bolton likely interrupted a drug transaction when he stopped the car Wilbourn was in. A small baggie containing 1.7 grams of marijuana and digital scales were found in the vehicle, according to the Memphis Police Department.

Wilbourn is thought to have been a passenger in the vehicle, and a warrant for first degree murder was issued for his arrest. He had previously been sentenced to 121 months for bank robbery charges, and was out on supervised release, according to Memphis police, who said he was considered armed and dangerous.

Wilbourn was added to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s Ten Most Wanted List, and the U.S. Marshals Service was offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to his arrest, according to police.

Armstrong said he had a brief conversation Monday night with Wilbourn, who told the police director: "'I want you to know that one, I am not a coldblooded killer and two, I'm not a coward.'"

He said he had publicly referred to Wilbourn as a "coward" while authorities were searching for him, and apparently, "that didn’t sit too well with him."

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton expressed thanks to the Memphis Police Department and U.S. Marshals Service Monday night.

"Some worked around the clock to keep the pressure on to let the suspect know that there was no hiding place," he said.

Bolton, a five-year veteran of the force, was wearing a bullet proof vest during the shooting but no body camera, according to police.

He was rushed to the hospital in critical condition Friday night but later died from his injuries. The Associated Press reported that Bolton was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who had served a tour of duty in Iraq.

Armstrong said Wilbourn's apprehension was "the first step in a very long healing process" for Bolton’s family, the Memphis Police Department and the city.

"Please keep us in your prayers," he said.