Police scanner recordings show timeline of weekend crime spree in Downtown Memphis


Justin Welch

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Outside Westy's Restaurant on North Main, police got the first call that a man shot two people and then ran.

Police Scanner: "We got 2 down, 2 down. We have a pedestrian saying he went West on Winchester toward Front Street. "

Police Scanner: "He is running across the Bass Pro Parking Lot. He jumped the fence west bound. Jumped the fence west bound toward Front."

At Bass Pro another person was  shot.

By this time police had a description.

Police Scanner: "At the Pyramid looking for a male black last seen southbound occupying a Silver Camaro, thin build, 5'5 with dreads wearing black camouflage pants, responsible for shooting multiple victims. "

Memphis Police Association President Mike Rallings says in these situations officers are trained to expect the unexpected.

"The suspect knows who he is. You don't know who he is. He has the element of surprise possibly," says Williams.

Police gave chase.

Police Scanner: "They are calling for additional officers. They are chasing the suspect around Beale. The street is on fire. Officers injured. Several subjects injured downtown."

Police were chasing the suspect, who reportedly was pushing 90 miles an hour around busy Beale Street.

"They have to make split second decisions. However, could they have steered him in another direction," asked one Beale Street visitor.

"He was a felon. He already shot some people. What you wanna do, let him go?" said another person on Beale.

When WREG asked about their chase policy, Police told us we must make a records request.

The Memphis Police Union said every situation is different, but if there is a major threat to the public, it must be stopped.

"Who is to say he wouldn't have went to Bass Pro or another area and shot somebody else?" asked Mike Williams.

At Beale Street and Third, Officer Verdell Smith was hit and killed trying to move people out of the car's path.

The suspect eventually slammed into a tree and the car he was driving went up  in flames.

Police Scanner: " The vehicle is on fire right now. It is engulfed. "

Despite all the people on Beale Street during the pursuit, Officer Verdell Smith was the only person hit.

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