Rookie Memphis police officer on leave after shooting armed robbery suspect


4500 Millbranch OIS

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Memphis, Tenn. -- A rookie MPD officer is off the job after shooting an armed robbery suspect.

Police say the officer, whose name hasn't been released, shot the man in self-defense Saturday morning when he tried to pull a gun on him after robbing a gas station at gunpoint.

Investigators tell WREG the officer only graduated from the police academy less than a year ago.

"He responded using the training that he received," said MPD Spokesperson Lt. Karen Rudolph.

The officer was still in his 12-month probationary period, Rudolph said.

"Our officers want to go home every day. So, all officers are trained to protect themselves and others and that’s what they’re going to do," she said.

Feroldo Griffin, 27, robbed an Exxon on South Third Street at gunpoint around 8 a.m., stealing cash and another gun, according to police.

"Really, Memphis is just going down the drain," said Shunqualis Brown, who lives nearby. "I know crime is everywhere, but Memphis is just one of the top."

Shortly after the robbery, officers spotted Griffin's car on East Shelby Drive near American Way, but say he wouldn’t stop.

Instead, he pulled into a Shell gas station on Millbranch Road, got out of his car and got into a fight with the rookie officer, before going back to his car and reaching for a gun, according to Lt. Rudolph.

That’s when investigators say the officer shot him.

"I have not seen the surveillance video, but what I’m told is that there is good video of both the robbery and here at the location, so we will be reviewing that," Lt. Rudolph said.

The officer was also wearing a bodycam, she said.

Lt. Rudolph tells WREG the footage won’t be released until the investigation is wrapped up.

WREG counted at least six evidence markers, but police couldn’t tell us how many shots the officer fired or how many times the suspect was shot.

People who live nearby say the crime on Millbranch Road is so bad, it's garnered its own less-than-flattering nickname.

"Now they call it Killbranch, and it’s a lot of killing going on around here," Brown said. "And I’m just trying to get some money so I can get out of here ‘cause it’s no place to raise a child."

Thankfully, both the officer and suspect will be OK.

The officer is on paid leave while the case is investigated.

Griffin is being charged with aggravated robbery, 2 counts of aggravated assault and 2 counts of employment of a weapon during the commission of a dangerous felony.


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