Mississippi man dies in shootout with Memphis police officer, who was wounded in incident

Published 6:29 am Wednesday, December 7, 2022

A Memphis police officer was wounded and a man was killed during a shootout following a call about a suspicious vehicle at a gas station, authorities said.

The Memphis Police Department said in a tweet that the officer was struck multiple times Monday night in the Oakhaven neighborhood, just north of the Tennessee-Mississippi border. The officer was transported to a hospital in critical condition, but the officer’s condition later improved to non-critical, police spokeswoman Karen Rudolph said Tuesday morning.

The suspect, who fired multiple shots at the officer, was pronounced dead afterward, the tweet said. The suspect was identified by authorities Tuesday as James West Jr., 39, of Sarah, Mississippi.

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The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, which was investigating the circumstances leading up to the shooting, said in a statement that the call about a suspicious vehicle came in to Memphis police about 9:15 p.m.

An officer arrived about three minutes later and attempted to make contact with a person in the vehicle, and both fired shots for reasons that were still under investigation, the bureau said.

Both were struck in the exchange of gunfire, the TBI said.

West fled and was found in an idling vehicle, where he was pronounced dead, the bureau said.

Authorities did not immediately identify the officer. The investigation was ongoing Tuesday.