Tenn. officials: 2 deputies injured, suspect shot dead
One deputy wearing a vest was shot five or six times in the leg and upper body
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A suspect was fatally shot and two deputies were injured as a law enforcement gang unit served an arrest warrant Wednesday in Memphis, Tennessee, authorities said.
Shelby County sheriff's deputies were inside a home when gunfire erupted at about 3:30 p.m., sheriff's spokesman Anthony Buckner told reporters.
One deputy wearing a bulletproof vest was shot five or six times in the leg and upper body and taken to a Memphis hospital in critical condition, authorities said. The deputy was sitting up and talking and seemed to be in good spirits, Shelby County Chief Deputy Scott Wright told reporters outside Regional One Hospital.
"He's lucky to be alive," Wright said.
The sheriff's office said later on Twitter that the wounded deputy was upgraded to non-critical condition.
The other deputy was believed to have been bitten by a dog, Wright said. He was released from the hospital later Wednesday, the sheriff's office said on Twitter. Neither deputy has been identified by authorities.
The armed person who opened fire was shot dead, authorities said. Details of the felony arrest warrant and the person's identity were not immediately released.
The deputies were part of a multi-agency gang unit which also included Memphis Police Department officers, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Keli McAlister said. Gang unit members entered the home with consent and came upon the armed person during a search of the trailer home, the TBI spokeswoman added.
The shooting turned a normal afternoon in the south Memphis residential neighborhood located alongside Interstate 240 into one filled with police sirens and a large law enforcement response. Marked and unmarked police vehicles sped to the scene and officers set up a wide perimeter, blocking traffic and preventing some residents from reaching their homes.
Memphis Police Director Michael Rallings asked the public to remain calm and be patient as the TBI investigates. There were no signs of unrest following the shooting.
The TBI, the state's police agency, is to deliver its report to the District Attorney Amy Weirich, who will decide whether to pursue charges against the officers or others involved in the case.
Buckner noted the risks that officers take while serving arrest warrants, calling that part of the job "extremely dangerous."
In early August, a Shelby County Sheriff's Office deputy was injured in a confrontation with a sexual assault suspect near the county courthouse in downtown Memphis. The deputy was stabbed and survived. The suspect was fatally shot.