Bio & Incident Details
Tour: 18 years
Badge # Not available
Cause: Vehicular assault
Offender: Charged with murder
Police Officer Verdell Smith was struck and killed by a vehicle whose driver had been involved in a triple shooting approximately 30 minutes earlier.
The man, who had been seen talking to himself loudly, suddenly pulled out a handgun and shot two customers outside of a restaurant on North Main Street shortly before 10:00 pm. Several citizens then chased the man on foot a short distance to a sporting goods store parking lot, where the man shot an employee and fled in a car, as officers arrived on the scene.
Responding officers pursued the vehicle, which started driving the wrong way down B. B. King Boulevard, which had been closed to vehicle traffic for a street festival. As the pursuit entered the area Officer Smith and other officers attempted to clear the street and sidewalks of pedestrians, but the vehicle crashed through a barrier and struck him.
The man was taken into custody after striking Officer Smith. He was charged three counts of attempted murder and one count of murder.
Officer Smith was a U.S Navy veteran and had served with the Memphis Police Department for 18 years. He is survived by his children, fiancee, and father.