(Memphis) A Memphis police officer was shot by a fellow officer in North Memphis Thursday afternoon.
Police Director Toney Armstrong said undercover officers with the Organized Crime Unit were serving a drug-related search warrant at 589 Arrington Ave. when a pit bull charged at them.
Armstrong said, “One of the officers assigned to the entry team attempted to shoot the dog, and while doing so, mistakenly shot an officer.”
Officer Willie Bryant, who has been with MPD since 2003, was taken to The MED first in stable condition. He was then downgraded to critical condition and underwent surgery.
Bryant was wearing a bullet resistant vest. Sources tell News Channel 3 he was shot in the back.
The other officer involved has been relieved of duty pending the outcome of the investigation.
A Memphis police spokesperson told News Channel 3 they detained several people on scene, but it is unknown whether they are still being held in custody or if they will be charged with any crimes.
No one answered the door when News Channel 3 went up to 589 Arrington Ave., but the lights and TV were on. Broken glass and overturned furniture remained, likely from the forced entry and search.
“The person who used to live there, he died a couple of years back,” said neighbor Sharon Thompson.
Another neighbor said that the current residents moved in about five or six months ago, and that there is constant activity around the clock.
Neighbors speculate that it’s now a drug house.
It’s a strange occurrence on a quiet street where most of the homes are owned by elderly people who know each other.
Thompson grew up there, in a house owned by her parents. Now her children live there with her.
“Just hope this is a one-time incident. Because you can't control what people do in their house,” she said.
She said the pit bull in question usually stays chained in the yard.
Upon hearing that an officer accidentally shot his colleague, she said, “I don't know what's worse, a dog bite or a shot. Either one.”
Director Armstrong briefed the media at The MED, but refused to take questions then. He also refused to answer questions Thursday night upon News Channel 3’s request for an interview.