Police Officer Shot Dead By Teen Over Suspicious Vehicle Stop, Police Say


Julianna Frieman Contributor
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A Memphis police officer was shot dead by a teenage suspect early Friday over a suspicious vehicle stop, police alleged.

Joseph McKinney, an officer of three years for the Memphis Police Department (MPD), was killed around 2 a.m. during a shootout with multiple teenage suspects, according to law enforcement, CBS News reported. Interim Police Chief Cerelyn Davis provided details on the incident during a news conference, a video posted on Twitter showed.

“A total of three officers were struck by gunfire,” Davis said. “Tragically, one of our officers lost his life. That officer is Joseph McKinney.”

Two surviving police officers were wounded by gunfire. One police officer was brought to Regional One Health Medical Center, where his condition improved and became “noncritical,” according to the interim police chief. The other surviving police officer “is in stable condition” after being “treated at the scene.”

“The second officer was brought here to Regional One. But thankfully, he has been upgraded to noncritical condition and he’s doing well,” Davis said. “The third officer was treated on the scene and is in stable condition.”

Both 18-year-old and 17-year-old suspects were taken to the hospital “in critical condition” after sustaining gunshot injuries, Davis said. One suspect has since been declared dead. (RELATED: ‘My Husband Died A Hero, But He Always Lived As One’: NYPD Officer’s Widow Delivers Eulogy As Thousands Attend Funeral)

Davis revealed that the 18-year-old suspect had a criminal history. She said that the suspect was arrested in March 2024 by MPD allegedly over a stolen vehicle and possession of an “illegal modified semi-automatic weapon.” The suspect’s firearm allegedly had a Glock switch attached, which “converted the weapon to a fully automatic machine gun.”

The 18-year-old suspect, who was “released at that time without bond,” was also charged with stealing two vehicles. Davis alleged that the suspect possessed “a programming device commonly used to steal cars.”

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigations is conducing an investigation, CBS News reported.