No charges in deadly South Memphis shooting by law enforcement

Published: Sep. 16, 2021 at 2:27 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A deadly 2019 shooting involving law enforcement in Memphis has been ruled legally justified.

Five law enforcement officers, consisting of four members of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office Fugitive Apprehension Team and a Memphis police officer with a K9, returned fire and killed 33-year-old Willie Hudson, Jr., who was a suspect wanted for attempted murder.

The shooting happened September 18, 2019 at a mobile home park on Haven Circle off of Hernando Road in South Memphis.

According to the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office, one of the officers critically wounded Hudson who opened fire from a hiding spot inside a trailer. Hudson was hiding inside a crawl space behind a bookcase in a bedroom. After repeated commands to come out were ignored, two officers who began pulling back the bookcase were met with gunfire from Houston.

One officer was shot several times in the arm and left thigh. Another officer was bitten by the K9 in the commotion. Three officers returned fire until the two who were injured could be removed and taken to a hospital.

A second round of shooting began after two other sheriff’s officers entered the room.

An autopsy showed Hudson sustained 58 gunshots to his torso, arms, legs, and feet.

“The number of shots fired is not relevant under the law in determining whether these officers were justified in their response,” said DA Weirich. “This was an unexpected, life-or-death gunfight in close quarters involving a desperate suspect and five officers, one of whom was immediately hit several times. These officers were there to make a lawful arrest of a violent felon who without warning inflicted serious bodily injury on one officer and posed a deadly threat to the others.”

Hudson had felony arrest warrants for attempted first-degree murder and for convicted felon in possession of a handgun related to a shooting of a man at an apartment complex.

The shooting was ruled legally justified based on a detailed report by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s Violent Crime Response Team. The report was examined by the Officer Involved Death Review Team, which includes Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich and five senior prosecutors.

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