Sergeant Verdell Smith, Sr
Officer Verdell Smith was struck and killed by a vehicle whose driver had been involved in a triple shooting approximately 30 minutes earlier.
A male subject, who had been observed talking loudly to himself, 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 shooter on foot a short distance to a sporting goods store parking lot, where he then shot an employee and fled in a car. 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 along with other officers attempted to clear the street and sidewalks of pedestrians. In the act of risking his life to move a group of civilians to safety, the vehicle driven by the shooter crashed through a barrier and struck Officer Smith. The subject was taken into custody and charged with 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, fiancée, and father.
- Age: 46
- Tour: 18 years
- Badge: 3591
- Military Veteran
- Cause: Vehicular assault
- Weapon: Automobile
- Offender: Charged with murder