MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A person is dead and two people are listed in critical condition after police say a shooting happened on Beale Street overnight.
The shooting happened near 315 Beale Street around 2:20 a.m. Sunday in front of The Green Room.
Officers said two groups of men began exchanging gunfire outside of The Green Room. One man from one of the groups fired shots at the second group, shooting two men. One man from the second group then returned fire.
The first victim was pronounced dead on the scene.
The man from the second group tried to flee the scene but was soon caught by police. Officers also said that suspect was struck by gunfire and transported to the hospital in critical condition.
MPD said officers were caught in the crossfire and began returning shots at one of the shooters. It is unknown at this time if the suspect was shot by the officers or other suspects.
Both men that were transported to the hospital have since been upgraded to serious condition status.
Another officer was sitting in a patrol car and caught in the middle of the crossfire but was uninjured. However, his patrol car and body camera were both hit by gunfire.
Larry Hubbard found himself front row to the gun battle.
“I was in the Green Room. I couldn’t tell where it was happening. We just started hearing gunshots from like two or three different guns,” Hubbard said. “That’s insane that it happened literally right in front of me.”
Police said at least three officers returned shots during the gunfire exchange. All three officers have been routinely relieved of duty due to the investigation.
Memphis Police Chief CJ Davis said in a statement:
“The Memphis Police Department is outraged at the senseless and brazen acts of violence that took place this morning in the presence of officers. The proliferation of gun violence continues at epic levels throughout our nation; however, we are committed to bringing every resource to bear to end these critical incidents in our city. We will continue working and strategizing with our downtown stakeholders and city officials to create a safe and welcoming environment for our residents, businesses, and visitors.“
This comes one month after 15-year-old Rodriques Minor was shot and killed on Beale Street and Riverside Drive after police say the shooting stemmed from a fight. Minor and a 16-year-old girl were shot, but the teenage girl survived.
Soon after Minor’s death, Memphis Police Colonel Stephen Chandler said MPD planned on increasing staffing in various ways around Beale Street during the warmer months and times with large events.
WREG heard contradicting stories from many who were out during the overnight hours on Beale Street, but one thing they can agree on is the need for more security.
WREG also requested an interview with Chief Davis regarding the shooting, but MPD has continuously refused to do so.
This is an ongoing investigation. Call (901)-528-CASH with tips.
UPDATE, April 12:
According to the Downtown Memphis Commission, use of wand metal detectors on Beale Street is seasonal from April to September. It starts at 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights, and ends based on crowd size.
Prior to the shooting over the weekend, wanding was used earlier in the evening for patrons to get onto Beale Street.
The shooting happened after wanding stopped on Beale Street.