Sergeant Verdell Smith, Sr

Sergeant Verdell Smith, Sr

Memphis Police Department, Tennessee

End of Watch Saturday, June 4, 2016

Verdell Smith, Sr

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.


  • Age 46
  • Tour 18 years
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Vehicular assault
  • Weapon Automobile
  • Offender Charged with murder


Most Recent Reflection

View all 203 Reflections

Big dawg I still can't believe you're not here anymore. I remember when I was fresh off of my training phase and we rode together down in 122's ward how much fun we had and even after that just coming to talk to you on the desk just to hear your words of wisdom for the day. You really had an impact on me and you are part of the reason I'm the officer I am today. You are missed big dawg, going up to the front of the precinct before my shift isn't even the same anymore because you're not there but I get to see your picture and I know you're still with us at the North precinct. You'll always be missed and never forgotten.

Police Officer B Tate
Memphis Police Department

June 22, 2017

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