COLLIERVILLE, Tenn. — Authorities are investigating after a suspect exchanged gunfire with police behind a Collierville gas station early Thursday morning.
Collierville police say the officer is on paid administrative leave and the suspect is in the hospital.
“Unfortunately, it’s growing every day everywhere,” customer Michael Bohner said. “One of the reasons we moved out here and a lot of people moved out here was to move further away from that. So, it’s kind of alarming to see it move closer to home.”
Police say officers were checking out a possible drug call at the Express Mart at East Winchester and Byhalia when they approached a group of people in the parking lot.
One person ran and officers followed, chasing the suspect into a field behind the store. That’s when police say the suspect shot at officers, and one of the officers shot back and hit the suspect.
People we spoke to believe the officer likely made the right call.
“They were doing what they been trained to do,” customer Akili King said.
King – who spent 12 years in the military – tells WREG he empathizes with the risks officers take every day.
“They still have families, they have to go home to their families,” he said. “And if somebody threatens them, they don’t just shoot back without any reason for it. I think they probably acted within their rules of engagement.”
And others say something like this isn’t going to scare them into hiding.
“Obviously have to be aware, but I’m not gonna live my life in fear,” Bohner said. “We just be aware of our surroundings and be thankful that we have great police protection here in Collierville.”
The suspect was taken to the Regional Medical Center for treatment. Police said Thursday afternoon that he was in stable condition, and had not yet been charged. He has not been identified.
One of the officers was hurt, but will be OK, investigators say.