MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) – Terence Olridge was heading to his job as a police officer when he and a neighbor were involved in an argument that escalated into a shootout in a normally quiet neighborhood in suburban Memphis, authorities said.
Shot multiple times, Olridge tried to make it back to his house to get help. He was later taken to a hospital, where he died Sunday afternoon – becoming the second Memphis police officer to be killed in a shooting in less than three months, police said.
Details about what caused the altercation between Olridge, 31, and Lorenzo Clark, 36, in the suburb of Cordova, on a street lined with similar looking single family homes with garage doors and trees in the front yard, are still not clear. At least two garage doors have bullet holes in them now.
But police said Monday that Clark has been charged with being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm in connection with Olridge’s death. He has a court appearance Tuesday. Court records do not show if Clark has a lawyer.
Authorities are still investigating the shooting, Memphis police spokesman Louis Brownlee said. He declined to say whether more charges would be filed.
Olridge, who joined the department in September 2014, had a fiancee who is four months pregnant, Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong said.
After the shooting, Clark surrendered peacefully, police said. A court affidavit says Clark told police he had a 9mm Glock handgun in his pants, took the gun out and started firing several shots in the street. The affidavit says Clark fired “several shots which resulted in a death.”
Clark was sentenced to just under 2 years imprisonment when he pleaded guilty to reckless endangerment with a deadly weapon and unlawful possession of a weapon in a public place in March 2003, Shelby County court records show.
Dennis Lax said he was not home when the shooting took place but when he arrived there were many marked and unmarked police vehicles and the street was already blocked off. Lax said that before the shooting the only thing that worried him about the neighborhood is the danger of cars running over children who play in the street.
Olridge is one of four Memphis officers who have been shot to death in just over four years, and the second fatally shot in the past 2 1/2 months.
“It just doesn’t get any easier,” Armstrong told reporters outside the hospital Sunday. “I didn’t think that we’d be here again so soon.”
In August, Memphis police officer Sean Bolton was fatally shot in the line of duty. Police have charged 29-year-old Tremaine Wilbourn, who was on probation for an armed bank robbery, with first-degree murder in Bolton’s death.
Officer Tim Warren was killed while responding to a shooting at a downtown Memphis hotel in July 2011. In December 2012, Officer Martoiya Lang was killed while serving a warrant.
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