Officer-involved shootings putting ‘strain’ on TBI agents

MEMPHIS, Tenn. —The man wanted for a shooting along I-40 that injured multiple people earlier this month is dead after he was shot by Shelby County Sheriff’s deputies.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation says Keyshon Parham, 19, was killed at a Fox Meadows apartment complex early Wednesday morning after there was an altercation when he was served a warrant.

A spokesperson said two deputies shot at Parham, a deputy who was shot in the leg, did not shoot at him.

Officials say the 10-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office is in pain but alert and visiting with family at the hospital.

The TBI is now investigating the shooting after the Shelby County District Attorney asked them to get involved.

There is a current understanding in Shelby County that the TBI takes over if someone dies in a law-enforcement related shooting.

This is far from the only case on the bureau’s plate.

“We have had six officer-involved shootings that the TBI has been requested to investigate so far in the month of October. We do have 11 field agents work a 21 county area,” Susan Niland, the TBI’s Public Information Officer, said.

You heard correctly.

There have been six officer-involved shootings so far this month that’s only about half over. Agents investigate much more than law-enforcement related shootings.

They often help smaller agencies with cases.

“We want to put the right amount of time. We want to make sure that all of these investigations are very thorough and very prepared,” Niland said. “It does put a strain out our agents. Especially when we have a lot of these that are back to back and tend to be something that can take a lot of time to investigate.”

This strain comes as there are discussions among Shelby County lawmakers for the TBI to investigate all law-enforcement involved shootings.

Within the last few days the Memphis Police Association says they’ve instructed officers not to speak to agents if they’re involved in a shooting.

Instead, they’re having them give their statements to the Union, which will then be reviewed by attorneys and then possibly submitted to the TBI.

There’s also a supreme court ruling requiring public workers like police officers to give statements to Internal Affairs or Human Resources but prevents them from being used against them in criminal proceedings.

“As the police association, it’s our job to protect the rights of the officers,” MPA Union President Mike Williams said.

A spokesperson with the TBI told us it’s their police to not discuss who they speak with on investigations and did not directly answer if speaking with the law enforcement officer directly in a case makes a difference.

As far as this case goes, the TBI said it’s under investigation if Parham had a gun and if he’s also responsible for shooting the deputy.