Video shows moments of deadly deputy-involved exchange downtown

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — One day after a Shelby County Sheriff's deputy was involved in a fatal shooting, details are emerging about the incident.

Surveillance video from nearby the incident shows it all clearly, from when the deputy chases and catches James Lee Kirkwood to the deadly exchange that occurred just seconds later.

It's still unclear how these actions will factor into the following investigation, but they'll be crucial for its outcome.

While not a perfect science, the surveillance video captures the last moments of Kirkwood's life pretty clearly. He is being chased by a sheriff's deputy, and when he's caught, he whips around, and that's when he allegedly stabbed the deputy.

WARNING: Video below may be too graphic for some

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The deputy reels backward, and as Kirkwood approaches him, he drew his gun and fired at the suspect. The conclusive evidence needed would be body camera footage — a potential big piece for TBI if it exists.

“That’s something that I can’t speak to, but if there is body cam video, it would be a part of our investigation and would be reviewed by our agents," TBI spokesperson Keli McAlister said.

WREG visited Kirkwood's last known address to find family, but no one answered a knock at the door. We also reached out to the sheriff's office to learn about the procedure for suspect care following a deadly shooting, but we have not heard back.

Authorities said Kirkwood was found in critical condition on the scene, but he was pronounced dead after he was taken to the hospital for medical attention.

It is unclear how these factors will weigh in when assigning blame in the fatal shooting.

It could be weeks before TBI finishes its investigation, but we'll have the latest details as they become available.


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