Two men charged after firing shots at University of Memphis police officer

Published: Jul. 30, 2021 at 11:00 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Memphis police charged two men after a University of Memphis (UofM) police officer was shot at.

Investigators located the suspects after a phone belonging to one of them was left at the scene. One neighbor said he was feeding his infant when he heard shots right next to his house.

“I woke up and just hearing the shots. I was just feeding my daughter. The window right there it could have come through the window,” said Alex Leaks.

The audio of that shooting from a neighbor’s surveillance camera that happened on Patterson at Spottswood is chilling. Police say around 3:30 a.m. July 19, a UofM police pfficer was on patrol in the area when he saw a man wearing a ski mask run across the intersection. He saw another man in a ski mask hiding behind a bush. The officer said the suspects were trying to break into cars. The officer told the men to get on the ground from his patrol car. He then heard gunshots. You can see the two bullet holes in his patrol car. The officer was not hit. The suspects took off.

“When I came out 45 minutes later, I noticed the phone on the ground, some shell casings,” said Leaks.

And that phone is what led Memphis police to Christian Long, who was arrested 10 days later on July 29. Paul Thomas was also arrested at the same Frayser apartment complex where Long was picked up. Police say Thomas admitted to the shooting, but Long refused to speak to investigators.

Leaks said he has seen quite a bit of crime in the area of Patterson and Spottswood. Action News 5 crime tracked the area in a quarter mile radius over the past month. The crimes range from theft to aggravated assault and simple assault. In some instances, there are three to four incidents at the same location.

“The way things are going, it’s just getting worse,” Leaks said. It’s hell on earth right now. I’m sorry to say it, but that’s how it feels.”

Long and Thomas are both charged with attempted first-degree murder.

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