(Memphis) Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong said his officers were defending themselves in the department's latest officer involved shooting Tuesday evening.
"On a prior date they attempted to pull him over and he eluded them for whatever reason and on this date they saw him again and said that’s the same guy, "said Armstrong about why his officers approached the suspect at a BP gas station at Jackson and Watkins.
"The individual got inside of his car and struck two officers. I’ve seen the video and one of the officers was actually on the hood of the vehicle," said Armstrong.
The officers fired and killed the suspect who family has identified as 28-year-old Anjustine Vanterpool.
Surveillance video has not been released.
"He was the type of guy that helped the family out a lot. He did a lot for my mom and my other siblings," said Vanterpool's sister Shante Williams.
MPD said they found 3.02 grams of heroin in the suspect's '93 Chevrolet Caprice Classic after the shooting.
"That might’ve been one of the reasons he was trying to elude officers," said Armstrong.
"The only thing I can tell you know is that in his efforts to get away, I don’t want to speculate as to if it was his intention to intentionally run over the officers or to intentionally injure the officers," Armstrong added.
Vanterpool was pronounced dead on the scene.
The officers were hit but suffered only minor injuries.
Their names have not been released but they have been relieved of duty pending the outcome of an investigation.
This is sixth person that has died after a MPD officer involved shooting this year.