A Memphis police officer who was struck by the fleeing vehicle of a man suspected in a shooting near the city's fabled Beale Street that left three other people injured died Saturday night, reports the AP. Officer Verdell Smith, 46, was pronounced dead from his injuries at 10:45pm Saturday, Memphis Police Department Director Mike Rallings said at a news conference. Police said two people were taken to the hospital in critical condition after being shot by the suspect on North Main about 10pm Saturday. They say the suspect then ran to a Bass Pro Shops and shot a male employee. The condition of that victim is non-critical. Police said the suspect then fled in a vehicle and later struck Smith as he worked to clear the scene. The unidentified suspect is in custody and is expected to face charges.
Rallings said Smith was an 18-year police veteran who is survived by a father, fiance, son, and two daughters. "He's a man's man and he was an officer's officer. He was definitely a great father," Rallings said. "He loved his son—always talked about him, always had him with him. It's not going to be the same without him." "I am angry this morning—angry at the senseless loss of a dedicated public servant, and angry at the absolutely unacceptable level of violence in our city," Mayor Jim Strickland said in a statement, per CNN. "We must not accept this as our norm. I most certainly will not, and I will continue to act to make our city safer."