Memphis Mayor Furious At Violence Of His Own City After Cop Killed In Hit And Run

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Casey Harper Contributor
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A Tennessee cop died late Saturday after a shooting spree and deadly hit and run.

Police say an unidentified suspect allegedly shot three men Saturday night before getting in a vehicle and hitting Memphis police officer Verdell Smith, 46, WREG reports. Witnesses said the suspect went to a local restaurant and shot two people before going to Bass Pro Shops to shoot one more.

He then got in a vehicle and hit Smith. The suspect fled on foot but was arrested.

“My family joins all of Memphis in mourning the loss of Officer Verdell Smith, who gave his life in service to our city,” Mayor Jim Strickland said on Facebook. “I call on every Memphian to remember Officer Smith’s family in prayer and reflection today and in the coming days — and to be grateful for the dangerous, important work our men and women of MPD perform every day. I am angry this morning — angry at the senseless loss of a dedicated public servant, and angry at the absolutely unacceptable level of violence in our city. We must not accept this as our norm. I most certainly will not, and I will continue to act to make our city safer.”

Employees at Westy’s Restaurant where the shooting occurred told the Memphis Commercial Appeal a man came into the eatery speaking loudly and walked up to two men sitting at a table. He then shot them before heading to his next alleged victim. The three shooting victims were taken to the hospital, two in critical condition and one in non-critical condition.

Authorities are still investigating. Charges have not yet been filed.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Officer Smith’s family and his comrades at the Memphis Police Department,” Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell said in a statement. “We at Shelby County Government appreciate his dedication and service to protect the public. This is a tragedy felt by citizens across Shelby County.”

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