Suspect killed in shootout that left two DeSoto County deputies injured identified

By: Jim Spiewak

Updated:

During a news conference, law enforcement identified the suspect involved in a shootout that left two deputies injured and him dead as Kevin Darnell Washington.

DeSoto County District Attorney John Champion said the 58-year-old went by 9 aliases. 

Washington's criminal career started in 1980.  He racked up a number of felony convictions in Florida and Tennessee including armed robbery and kidnapping. 

He was sentenced to 30 years in Tennessee prison and served 11.

Most recently, he was wanted in Florida on a felony warrant.

The sheriff said he visited Deputy Lee Hutchens, who is still in the hospital after being shot in the chest. He said Hutchens' fiance asked him if they were still getting married, and he shrugged his shoulders, smiled, and told her he loves her.

Deputy Hunter Garrett has been released from the hospital after being shot in the foot.

Garrett was just recently promoted to sergeant. 

Officials said there will be more that comes out about the gun battle with the suspect that is amazing, but he cannot share all details yet. 

Officials also acknowledged there has been an uptick in crime in DeSoto County. 

The sheriff's office said they are working to confirm if Washington was the same suspect who carjacked and kidnapped someone in Midtown, Memphis. The vehicle Washington was driving, MPD confirmed, is the same as the one taken from that carjacking. 

At one point, officials said Washington was sentenced to 30 years for a crime in Tennessee, but he only served 11. 

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The DeSoto County Sheriff's Department has identified the deputies shot in a Kroger parking lot in Southaven. 

Sgt. Hunter Garrett was shot in the foot. He has been released from the hospital. He will be put in a cast later. 

Garrett is a seven year veteran officer with six of those years being with the DeSoto County Sheriff's Department. 

>>PHOTOS: Two deputies shot in Southaven

Deputy Lee Hutchens, a K-9 handler, is the other deputy who was shot. He remains hospitalized after being shot in the chest. We are told the bullet entered an area not covered by his bulletproof vest. He will be in the hospital for a few days, but is expected to make a full recover. 

Hutchens is an 11 year officer veteran with eight of those years being spent with the DeSoto County Sheriff's Department. 

The suspect was shot and killed. The Memphis Police Department told us a stolen vehicle recovered at the scene is the same vehicle that was taken during a carjacking on January 20 in the 2000 block of Madison at Ardent Studio. 

The Mississippi Bureau of Investigations is taken over the investigation into their shooting. 

When we mentioned to Sheriff Bill Rasco that these deputies were considered heroes, he got teary-eyed and choked up.

"Well it's a little bit hard for me to talk about. Never in my imagination as sheriff would I think to be sitting here being talking about my guys being hurt doing the job that they love to do," the Sheriff said.

>>DeSoto County Sheriff's Office responds to deputy-involved shooting

The DeSoto County suspect was stopped after DeSoto County deputies said he robbed a McDonald's in Horn Lake, a Home Depot, and then Kroger, before being stopped. 

MPD said the Ardent Studio carjacker approached someone outside the business with a handgun, demanded money, and forced the victim into his 2012 Ford Escape. 

>>MPD: Man robbed, kidnapped in Midtown

They said he forced the driver to leave the parking lot and drive north on Madison. 

The victim told police the suspect asked him if his parents had money and questioned if they would pay a ransom. 

MPD said the suspect also told the victim he had been watching Ardent Studio and may go back and take everyone hostage. 

At one point, they said the suspect had the driver pull over, get out of the car, and took off. 

FOX13 learned from a witness that the shooting in the Kroger parking lot could have been even worse if not for the brave action of some law enforcement officers. 


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Dustin Phillips told us, "When we were walking out he was walking up calmly, and he just hollered, 'Get in your car now!' So, I grabbed her and we took off to the truck. And I never looked back. Got right in the truck, started it and I took off." 

Kristin Harper told FOX13, "If we were just a few more seconds out there, it could've been us. It could've been either one of us." She added, "We just wanted to say thank you. Our prayers go out to the officers that did get hurt. We thank them for telling us to get in our vehicle." 

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