Gun used in shooting that sparked stampede on Beale Street was stolen, police say

WATCH: Gun used in shooting that sparked stampede on Beale Street was stolen, police say

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — One of the guns recovered at the scene that prompted a stampede on Beale Street was reported stolen weeks ago, according to police.

The owner told police he left the gun in his car with the doors unlocked on April 21. Two weeks later, MPD recovered that weapon near Beale Street after the shooting and stampede that followed on May 5.

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FOX13 discovered the suspects had three guns – two of them were recovered.

Retired Shelby County sheriff’s deputy Mike Collins told FOX13 it didn’t take long for the weapon to be found at a crime scene after being stolen.

“They stole the weapon for a purpose – to use in a commission of another crime. That is almost a given,” said Collins.

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Memphis police have investigated 351 cases of guns being stolen from cars from the beginning of 2019 through May 10.

In 2018, MPD investigated 1,273 of those cases – and 1,216 the year before.

Memphis Police Director Mike Rallings has been pushing to get state law changed to punish gun owners who don’t secure their weapons or ammunition.

“This is an example of what can happen when an unsecured firearm is left unattended. I continually stress that if you carry a firearm, carry it lawfully and secure it properly,” Rallings said in a statement.

There are at least two bills before lawmakers in Nashville to punish gun owners whose weapons are stolen when left unsecured, and they are still being debated in committees.

If you need a gunlock to secure your weapon, MPD makes them available for free at its local police precincts.