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 was posthumously promoted to the rank of Sergeant. He is survived by his children, fiancee, and father.