Police: 76 shell casings recovered after overnight wreck, shooting on 1-240 at Poplar


MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Three people were injured, one critically, and police are searching for several people after a shooting and wreck Sunday night along I-240 at Poplar.

According to police, officers responded to an accident involving six or seven vehicles at I-240 at Poplar Avenue in Midtown around 11 p.m. When they arrived they discovered a bullet-riddled Chevrolet Tahoe overturned in the middle of the interstate.

Two other vehicles also had extensive damage to the driver’s sides. Authorities said the other vehicles involved fled the scene.

According to witnesses, the series of events began earlier that evening after a man was shot at a club at Third and McLemore. Police said that man had been dropped off separately at a hospital and is now in non-critical condition.

Two vehicles, which had left that scene, were traveling down I-240 when one vehicle began to stall and pull over near Poplar. A woman in one of the vehicles said the Tahoe hit her vehicle and, as she was disoriented from the airbag deploying, she heard shots.

A witness told police people inside a Dodge Caliber began shooting. Police recovered 76 shell casings from the scene.

One passerby told authorities he went to help a man in the Tahoe who was shot during the incident. As he approached, several others got out of a Hyundai and Dodge. One stated, “You hit our car” and then reached for his waistband, implying he had a gun.

The passerby said he backed away and that’s when the group began punching the shooting victim. Several men were then seen running up the embankment toward Poplar Avenue.

The shooting victim was in critical condition, police said.

Melvin Owens was home at his Midtown apartments Sunday night with his TV on, when a crash drew him outside.

“I heard a boom and a scrape like a big metal truck was sliding on the interstate,” Owens said. “Three cars parked here by the door. They began shooting. At least 40-50 shots were fired. Sounded like automatic weapons.”

Owens can see the expressway from his door and came outside when he heard the shots. The disabled veteran jumped into action paying close attention to the people involved and calling police.

“It was like 10 people down there. Four of them, I guess they knew police were coming, they came and hopped over the overpass here and headed east on Poplar,” Owens said.

This year, there have been 74 reported shootings on Memphis interstates, according to police. They said 18 of those have involved people getting shot.

No arrests have been made. If you know anything about this incident, call Crime Stoppers at (901) 528-CASH.

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