Officer killed and suspect dead in Memphis shootout: Urgent call to end gun violence

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – In a tragic turn of events, a Memphis police officer and an 18-year-old suspect lost their lives after an exchange of gunfire that left two other officers and another suspect injured early Friday morning, as reported by Police Chief C.J. Davis.

The fallen officer, Joseph McKinney, had joined the Memphis Police Department in 2020, according to MPD. The identity of the deceased suspect has not been disclosed.

Following the incident, one officer was hospitalized but has since been upgraded to non-critical condition. Another officer sustained a grazing wound from gunfire and was treated at the scene.

A second suspect, age 17, also suffered injuries and is currently in critical condition, as per MPD reports.

Chief Davis expressed deep sorrow over the tragic events outside Regional One hospital, urging the community to unite against gun violence and prevent further tragedies.

The fatal shooting occurred on Hewlett Road and Horn Lake Road in Southwest Memphis, unfolding after officers responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle at Horn Lake Road and Charter Avenue around 2 a.m. The officers were met with gunfire from a suspect as they approached the vehicle, prompting a return of fire.

After the vehicle fled, it was located on Hewlett Road, leading to the immediate capture of one suspect while another attempted to flee but was apprehended nearby, according to police.

The 18-year-old suspect who was killed in the altercation had a prior arrest in March for possession of a stolen vehicle and an illegal modified semi-automatic weapon with a Glock switch, transforming it into a fully automatic firearm. Despite the charges, he was released without bond.

In response to the incident, the District Attorney and Tennessee Bureau of Investigation have been called in to conduct a thorough investigation.

Friday’s tragic event adds to the ongoing violence plaguing Memphis, with the city’s homicide count reaching 101 as of Tuesday, slightly trailing the figures from the same period in the previous year. Mayor Paul Young emphasized the urgent need for community action to combat the escalating violence and prevent further loss of life.

As Memphis continues to grapple with rising crime rates, community involvement and intervention are seen as vital steps towards creating a safer environment for all residents.