Cordova killing marks Shelby County’s 17th homicide in 2016

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Tee Johnson

SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. — Shelby County is coming to grips with a deadly reality on the heels of a murder in Cordova on Tuesday night.

The homicide rate for the county has more than quadrupled since last year.

Evidence of a crime scene was left behind at the Appling Lakes apartment complex where a man was killed.

It was evidence of the deadly year.

A man who lived at the apartment where the shootout happened was moving things out but did not want to talk on camera.

“The two guests get up and go into the restroom together, and they come out and both of them have hand guns,” Earle Farrell, with the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, said.

Deputies said there was a scuffle, the man who lived at the apartment got his gun, and the three men started shooting at one another.

Friends said a man known as Tee Johnson died while the other two men involved went to the hospital.

It is unclear if any charges will be filed.

“It’s unprecedented. Nobody has ever seen anything like this,” Farrell told WREG.

The latest shooting marked unincorporated Shelby County’s 17th homicide, when the average is typically four homicides every year.

“What do you say to those people who are getting frustrated with seeing these record number of homicides?” WREG asked Farrell.

“You know it’s our times. It’s not just Memphis. It’s all over the country,” he said.

Farrell said deputies are taking the killings one case at a time.

He said a majority of the homicides are already solved — meaning deputies have either made arrests or know who the suspects are.

The sheriff’s office first told us the latest shooting happened over a pair of sneakers, but we have since learned that’s not the case. The motive is still under investigation.