Memphis officer dies after crime spree downtown, suspect captured

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WIAT) — A Memphis Police officer is dead after being struck by a car driven by a fleeing shooting suspect.

The officer, 46-year-old Verdell Smith, was hit while trying to clear a crime scene just after 10 p.m. Saturday. That’s when police say the first shots were fired by the suspect in the Pinch District in downtown Memphis.

The suspect allegedly shot two people before running to a nearby Bass Pro Shops store and shooting an employee. Two of the victims are critically injured.

Police say after the shooting, he jumped in the car and later struck Smith on the city’s famous Beale Street. Officers later caught the suspect after he tried to run away.

Officer Smith is survived by his father, two children, and his fiancee. No charges have been filed yet.

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