Man Pulls Gun on Officers, Police Don’t Shoot

(Memphis) Critics have Memphis police in their cross hairs, calling them trigger happy.

Today, one Memphis man may be happy to be in jail instead of the morgue, after pulling a semi-automatic on two officers.

Police say they pulled over Jonathon King at Homer Street and Given Avenue for a traffic stop.

They say King pointed a gun at them after they pulled him over for not having break lights.

“You can`t say when you approach a car it’s going to be like the last car you approached,” said Mike Williams with the Memphis Police Association.  “It’s not going to be.”

Police say when officers found out King also had a suspended license, they tried to pat him down. 

Instead, he took off running, saying he was not going back to jail.

When officers caught up with him, they say he whipped out a handgun, pointed it at the officers and said “If you don’t get away from me, I will kill you both.”

That’s when police backed-off and let him get away.

Williams says it was the smart thing to do, “You have to learn how to play smarter not harder and there are some times you are going to have to back-off.  That way he didn’t get shot, they didn’t get shot.”

Williams says the officers probably knew King would eventually get caught and, indeed, ten hours later, officers tracked him down at a home on Jackson Avenue.

He’s now in jail, but not dead, which is how he could have ended-up after pulling a gun on police.  

Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong says the officers could have shot him, “Pulling a gun on an officer? That is considered deadly force.”

Williams says it often comes down to a split-second decision that officers have to make, “No one knows what the outcome is going to be because as you go through it, you live it and whatever the outcome is, based on the decisions you made at that time, is what the outcome is going to be.”

King is in jail on two counts of aggravated assault.

His bond has been set at $100,000.


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