Two officers shot, one killed serving search warrant

Two officers shot, one killed serving search warrant
Published: Dec. 14, 2012 at 3:13 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 17, 2012 at 3:13 PM CST
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Officer Martoiya Lang, 32, was killed in the line of duty Friday morning.
Officer Martoiya Lang, 32, was killed in the line of duty Friday morning.

(WMC-TV) - One of the officers shot in the line of duty Friday morning died, while the other has been released from the hospital.

Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong confirms Martoiya Lang, 32, died as a result of her injuries. She has been with the Memphis Police Department since June 2003.

"We are asking that the city continue to keep her and her family in your prayers, she is the mother of four small kids," said Armstrong referring to her daughters, who are ages 14, 13, 12, and 2-years-old.

Officer Lang was shot with a 9mm pistol with a high capacity magazine, along with Officer William Vrooman, as they served a narcotics search warrant at 1062 Mendenhall Cove around 8 a.m.

The officers returned fire, shooting the 21-year-old suspect, who is now listed in critical condition at The MED.

According to Director Armstrong, Officer Vrooman, 32, was taken to the hospital following the shooting.  He has since been treated and released. Vrooman has been with MPD since July 2007.

"This is a constant reminder of what police work is really about," said Director Armstrong. "So often we get side tracked with some of the other things that go on, we have an officer who goes out and does something inappropriate and it gets all the media attention. But the end of the day, we have officers like this officer who leaves her small kids at home, come put it all on the line."

He continued, "This officer, she was a friend, a family member, at the end of the day you have these officers that have to perform the same functions that this officer did and lost her life today."

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton ordered that all flags be flown at half-staff until further notice.

"On behalf of the citizens of our city, we offer our prayers to the families, our condolences, I want to say thanks to the brave officers, men and women, who as we see, even at this early hour on a bright day like this who have to enter into some of the darkest of circumstances, but they are willing to do that," said Mayor Wharton. "We want them to know, their families to know, that through it all, we appreciate it deeply, beyond measure, words cannot express the sacrifices that they make for our city."

A 26-year-old man was also in the home when the search warrant was served. He has been taken into custody but has not been charged with a crime at this time.

"Nobody has a second amendment right to load up and kill a police officer," Wharton added.  "The officers have rules about when they can fire. But the people who took this officer's life, they don't have any shoot, no shoot rules."

Director Armstrong ended the news conference asking the community one more time to pray for the families affected by this tragedy.

"More than anything right now we need your prayers, her immediate family needs your prayers, this police department needs your prayers," he said.

Action News 5 will continue to follow this story throughout the day. Check back with WMCTV.COM for the latest developments.

Copyright 2012 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.