Man Shoots At Police After Threatening Girlfriend

(Memphis) It was a close call for Memphis Police officers responding to a domestic violence situation early Sunday morning.

A man fired several shots at officers as they interviewed his girlfriend.

Those close to 39-year-old Veldon Rooks say he just snapped.

The victim spoke with News Channel 3 off camera, just several hours after her boyfriend of ten years hit her and broke her jaw and then threaten to shoot her.

It wasn’t until police arrived that he tried to follow through on that threat.

“We just heard the gunshots,” said Milton Watson, a neighbor. “It sounded like they were right here by the window.”

Neighbors all along Ganymede Cove awoke with fear as the sound of gunshots rang out.  Watson was still up and putting his one year old son to bed when a domestic dispute two houses down turned violent.

“I was nervous for [my son’s] sake because he is right there by the window,” said Watson. “That’s what made me come outside.”

When Watson looked out Memphis Police officers were already there.

A woman called for their help, claiming Rooks was threatening to shoot her.

The shooting started when the woman, already suffering from broken jaw from her boyfriend, ran to meet police in the street as they arrived.

Officers say that’s when Rooks came out of the home with a gun in hand and fired three shots at the victim and the officers.

It is unclear if the officers returned fire.

“There’s no telling what she did to make him mad, but he still didn’t have no right to be shooting and all that,” Watson argued. “Anybody could have gotten hurt. There could have been a stray bullet going into anybody’s house.”

According to Police Rooks went back in the house and then turned the gun on himself, but the shot didn’t kill him.

Officers say he came out the front door moments later with a gunshot wound to his head.

He was taken to The MED in critical condition and then later charged.

Watson is grateful, amidst all of the gunfire, that no one else got hurt.

“It’s normally quiet around here,” he said. “That was a shocker last night.”

Neighbors believe officers may have fired back at Rooks.

We asked police if that were the case, but they never got back to us. Rooks is out of the hospital and is in jail.

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