A Memphis police officer who was off-duty was fatally shot multiple times in unknown circumstances, the city’s police director said on Sunday.
While a suspect has been taken into custody, the details of the case are “very, very sketchy,” according to Director Toney Armstrong. The slain officer was identified as Terence Olridge, who was in the middle of breaking up a domestic dispute between his neighbors when the shooting occurred. Olridge, who was on his way to work, dragged himself back inside the house, his uncle said.
Neighbors reported they heard 15 shots being fired.
Olridge’s fiancé, who is four months pregnant, called for help. Police responded to the scene of the shooting at 12:52 p.m.; subsequently, he was taken to the Regional Medical Center, but eventually succumbed to his wounds.
As reported by the New York Daily News, Olridge’s family was coming back home from church when the shooting occurred. His uncle said, “It’s sad, sad it keeps on happening in Memphis. Just another life gets taken.” Olridge was one of 39 police graduates who had joined the Memphis Police Department on September 22, 2014. According to FOX13, he had said at his graduation ceremony, “Got a task ahead of me and I am prepared.”
“Everything is very, very sketchy,” Armstrong said. “We’re at the beginning phase of this investigation. There are more questions than we have answers right now.”
In a news conference, Mayor A.C. Wharton, Jr., said, “There’s nothing I can add other than pray for the family of this young man, and I emphasize he was a young man, relatively new to the department, so pray for him, his family, and for the department and for the city as a whole.”
In the past four years, Olridge is the fourth police officer who was killed, CNN reports. Officer Sean Bolton, who had interrupted a drug transaction, was fatally shot during a traffic stop on August 1. Two days later, a suspect had been arrested.
“Please continue to pray for this police department,” Armstrong said. “It wasn’t very long ago that I stood probably in very close proximity to where I’m standing now, and I said something very, very similar to what I’m saying here. And it just doesn’t get any easier. I didn’t think that we’d be here again so soon.”
You might also be interested in: South Carolina Flood: ‘More Is Coming,’ Warns Gov.