Off-duty MPD lieutenant shot outside home in Mississippi, officials say

OLIVE BRANCH, Miss. — The DeSoto County Sheriff’s Department is investigating after an off-duty Memphis Police lieutenant was shot in Olive Branch Monday morning.

According to a sheriff’s department spokesperson, the officer was ambushed outside his home.

Deputies were called to the area of Cotton Row Drive in the Miller Farms subdivision around 6 a.m.

The officer was shot in the shoulder and is expected to be okay.

The suspect is still on the run.

Johnnie Smith has lived down the street from the officer for years.

“I know he is a police officer, and he is a nice guy,” said Smith. “He will help you if he can if you need something from him. He is just a good guy.”

Multiple neighbors who wouldn’t go on camera told FOX13 that their surveillance cameras show that the suspect’s car was parked on the street starting at about midnight.

According to the DeSoto County Sheriff’s Department, the officer, whose name has not been released, was getting in his personal car in his driveway when the suspect blocked him in with his car and opened fire.

Investigators said the officer hit the gas and drove into the neighbors’ yard, then got out of his car and ran for the tree line to get away.

Neighbor Cindy Crockett said she was stunned.

“It’s sad because he is out there because he is trying to help our families while we are at work or at home and out shopping or whatever you are doing. He just tries to leave the house and he gets shot,” Crockett said.

“I woke up around 5:45 to 5:50 to probably about four or five gunshots, and at that time, I blew it off thinking maybe it was duck hunters or something going on in the area,” Jake Brannon said. “About 10 minutes later, I come downstairs, and I see police officers and a bunch of lights and a car in somebody’s back yard that wasn’t supposed to be there.”

Brannon lives next door to where the shooting happened. He told FOX13 it is unthinkable for his Miller Farms neighborhood.

“It sucks. It’s terrible for sure. The guy just walked out the front door, and apparently, he got shot. You should be able to walk out your door and do what you want. It’s land of the free and home of the brave,” Brannon said.

The DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office investigators were on the scene for about three hours.

“I hope he is okay. I am going to go over there after things have died down a few days and make sure he is alright and see if there is anything I can do,” Brannon said.

A family member of the officer was on scene and told FOX13 she doesn’t know what prompted the shooting, but she is glad the officer will be okay.

“That’s what we were praying for and hoping for that he would be okay,” said Smith.

So far, investigators have not released any information about the shooter.

The officer’s name has also not been released.

Memphis Police released a statement:

“An off-duty MPD officer was reported as a victim of a crime that occurred outside MPD’s jurisdiction. Due to the fact the officer is a victim of an ongoing investigation, we will not be releasing any additional information.”

An MPD spokeswoman did tell FOX13 that because the officer was hired before 2009, he is not bound by the current requirement of officers to live in Shelby County.