Police scanner traffic paints vivid picture of chaos before officer died

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.
Data pix.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- "They are calling for additional officers. They are chasing the suspect. And they're advising that Beale Street is on fire," was heard on Memphis Police Department scanner traffic.

It was complete chaos.

"We got two down, two down. We have a pedestrian saying he went West on Winchester toward Front Street," scanner traffic revealed.

Police said Justin Welch was in the middle of the madness.

In a hospital gown and visibly injured, Welch was booked in jail.

"There's an officer injured. Several subjects injured downtown."

Three people were shot, and an officer was hit by a car and killed.

"Officer down and injured on Beale Street," one officer said.

Bianca Lawler asked, "Why? What was wrong? What were you thinking?"

Those people who knew Welch were not surprised by the first-degree murder and other serious charges.

"He seemed troubled," Lawler said. "Not that he was troubled, but he seemed like something was troubling him."

Welch's criminal history is clean in Shelby County, but court records obtained by WREG online appeared to show he was arrested in 2013 in Chicago for gun charges.

"He is running across the Bass Pro Parking Lot," an officer said over the police radio.

Police said Welch had a weapon when he jumped into a car he'd stolen earlier that night in Fox Meadows.

Welch led police on a hot pursuit through Downtown Memphis.

"He jumped the fence westbound. Jump the fence westbound toward front," an officer reported.

It was a wild night that caused Officer Verdell Smith his life and left a car bursting into flames.

"The vehicle is on fire right now. It is engulfed," a cop said on the radio.

While family members and a city mourn a loss and pray for healing, others pushed for justice.

"What's wrong is wrong. There's nothing right about what he did. If he troubled, get him some help. Don't just throw him in jail. Get him Some help," Lawler said.

Welch is expected in court on Monday morning.

Latest News

More News