Former MPD Officer Terrance Shaw Speaks About Teen He Killed
(Memphis) For the first time, the former Memphis police officer who shot and killed a 15-year-old boy is telling his side of the story.
You’ve heard from Justin Thompson’s family, the police and district attorney, but now Terrance Shaw is talking in an exclusive interview with WREG-TV.
The district attorney says there wasn’t enough evidence to get a conviction against Shaw, so he wasn’t prosecuted.
The former officer says this is proof he didn’t do anything wrong, yet he still feels vilified by the public, so he invited WREG’S Stephanie Scurlock into his home to clear up some things.
There was one condition: there would be no cameras. Shaw did allow us to record audio of the interview.
Shaw said, “I really hope the citizens of Memphis would actually be able to look and see that there`s another side to this situation and I`m not a bad person at all.”
Shaw wants to set the record straight.
He says he was the victim the night he shot and killed 15-year-old Justin Thompson last September.
“There’s nothing in my story that has changed. My story has been the same from the beginning. I was a victim of a robbery. It`s not only cost me my job, it`s also cost me in the public’s eye,” said Shaw.
Shaw says two people were with Justin the night of the shooting.
One of them lurking nearby was Justin’s brother, Anthony Simmons.
Shaw says this police statement from the brother helps prove his point.
The night of the shooting, Simmons told investigators Justin “upped his gun at dude” then Shaw shot him.
“It’s been very tough for me. It`s been a long ten months and I still kind of re-live this incident everyday,” said Shaw.
Simmons told detectives Justin was meeting Shaw to sell Shaw some marijuana.
Shaw says that part isn’t true, “I met him at the store. He was advising me that he was living house to house and that he needed some assistance and with my limited contact with him. It was very limited. I think I only seen him maybe about four times, including the day that I met him and the last day that I saw him.”
Justin’s mother, Shirley Thompson, showed us text messages between Justin and Shaw just minutes before the shooting.
In the text messages Justin asked “watchu got goin.” Shaw replied, “nothin, chillin, U tryna get up wit me?”
Ms. Thompson, as well as Memphis police, wondered what kind of business a grown man would have with a 15-year-old.
Shaw says told me he thought Justin was 18.
That is something Justin also claimed on his Facebook page.
Reporter Stephanie Scurlock asked, “Were your meetings with him in anyway inappropriate?”
Shaw responded, “Absolutely not. They were always at the location, at that store. Anytime that I saw him. There was absolutely nothing else like that. And, that’s kind of like one of the other things that kind of bothers me and I wish that the people would know that as well.”
Shaw told WREG what he told investigators, that he never touched Justin in a sexual manner and never bought drugs from him.
Shaw says he passed a drug test the night of the shooting.
“He needed some assistance and that’s all I was trying to do was trying to help somebody,” said Shaw.
Shaw says he felt forced to resign from the force and now regrets it.
He showed WREG a letter he sent to Police Director Toney Armstrong asking for his job back.
Reporter Stephanie Scurlock asked, “Why do you feel you should be able to go back?”
Shaw responded, “Because I didn’t do anything wrong. I wasn’t found criminally responsible for anything and there wasn’t any iffy business.”
If not his job, Shaw hopes to regain his reputation. Here’s what he wants from his city.
“Keep me in their prayers as I continue to pray for myself and the family of Justin Thompson,” he said.
Police director Toney Armstrong responded to Shaw in a letter, saying it was too late for Shaw to get his job back because the paperwork was already in.