A Memphis police officer is in critical condition following a library shooting in the eastern part of the city, local news outlet WREG reports.
Police were called to the Poplar-White Station library in East Memphis just after 12:30 p.m. Thursday, according to WREG. Witnesses reported hearing at least five gunshots inside the library, where police found an officer in “extremely critical condition” and another unnamed person dead at the scene, the outlet continued.
An officer and another person were injured in a shooting Thursday afternoon at the Poplar-White Station library in East Memphis, police say.https://t.co/dj2g6UtDCN
— WREG News Channel 3 (@3onyourside) February 2, 2023
Rubbie King was in the library’s conference room when the incident occurred, telling the outlet that though she did not see the alleged shooter, she saw library workers taking cover and officers guarding an apparently injured man on the floor before she evacuated the building, WREG reported.
“I did a quick assessment to see if there were any other persons with the weapon, I mean I did a quick scan of the area because where the study room is it’s all glass,” King told the outlet. “I didn’t turn the light back off because if there was somebody else present and I turned that light off it would’ve been noticeable. So, I kind of made my way around the room and then I went out the door. I didn’t run. I just walked out the door because I didn’t want to bring any attention to me leaving the library.”
Witness Andrea Sansone was driving near the library when she saw a woman running out of the building with her child, WREG reported.
“The look of horror on her face just caught my attention,” Sansone told the outlet.
The Memphis Police Department is currently grappling with the fallout from the beating death of Tyre Nichols in January. Five officers have been charged with murder as the investigation continues. (RELATED: ‘I Feel Sorry For Them’: Tyre Nichols’ Mother Gives Gut-Wrenching Interview On CNN)
“We need to be praying for our city,” Sansone told WREG. “We need to be putting our armor on daily in this city. I love this city. I was born and raised in this city, so seeing things like this, it bothers me because we get a bad rap. It’s a really neat city and I would just say, continue to pray for it and pray fervently.”
Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy requested the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation lead the investigation. The library will remain closed until further notice and all library staff are safe, according to WREG.