MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- A 20-year-old man was recovering from surgery Saturday after being shot by Memphis police — the same day police charged him with aggravated assault, theft and evading arrest in the incident.
911 calls to police about a group of men walking around Advance Auto Parts on Frayser Boulevard with weapons launched an investigation that ended in an officer-involved shooting Friday night.
Memphis Police said they arrested one person but three others fled across the street into a shopping center parking lot.
“I heard the kids screaming. I saw them running down the shopping center. I passed every store. Right after that I saw one police car coming diagonally across the lot," said Jordan Jeffries, who works at a store in the shopping plaza.
Police said they were chasing the men on foot when one turned around and pointed a gun at them.
They said an officer then fired and shot 20-year-old Davonte Weatherford. Friends said the bullet hit him in the back.
Some in Frayser said police did the right thing.
“If I'm paying my taxes for police to do their job then by all means, if someone is threatening you by pointing a weapon at you, especially a gun, then I think you shoot," said Demetria Barber, a veteran who said she was grateful to officers for protecting the area which can become dangerous at night.
But not everyone agreed with Barber's point of view. Jeffries said it happened so quickly, he couldn't say whether the suspect flashed a gun while they were chasing him.
“It was maybe five or six seconds from them getting out of the car to me hearing the gunshots,” he said. "It was surreal because this is the type of stuff you see on Facebook. For it to happen in front of my eyes, it woke me up a bit too. I know where I live but it’s real."
It’s a sign of distrust in the Frayser community. Another woman told WREG police had mistreated her in the past.
“I don’t believe it,” she said of the police account of the Friday night incident.
WREG is committed to providing all the information. Police declined our request for an interview today. We will file a public records request to get body camera footage from the incident.