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1 dead, 1 injured in shooting, carjacking near Lamar Ave shopping center

Published: May. 12, 2015 at 1:26 AM CDT|Updated: May. 13, 2015 at 8:01 AM CDT
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MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Memphis police are investigating a Monday night shooting in a shopping center in the 2700 block of Lamar Avenue.

Officers found two shooting victims on the scene around 9 p.m.

Police say a 31-year-old man was leaving the Family Dollar store when two men tried to rob him. The two suspects were armed with a handgun.

"It's sad," said neighbor Kim Crutcher. "You can't go anywhere."

The victim got the gun and shot the 25-year-old suspect, later identified as Thomas Odom. The other suspect then shot the robbery victim. That suspect left the scene in the victim's car, a Nissan Altima.

"You're supposed to be able to go somewhere in your own vehicle without somebody trying to take it from you," said Dale Washington, who lives in the neighborhood.

The robbery suspect died on the scene. The victim was taken to the hospital in critical condition.

The victim's car was found in the 60 block of N. Alicia Drive. The suspect ran away from the scene and is not in custody.

Between May 2014 and this month, police have tracked 126 carjackings in Memphis, compared to 115 between May 2013 and May 2014.

Neighbors in the area have a mixed reaction to Monday night's incident-- wondering whether or not they would fight their attackers.

"If they want material stuff, I think I'd rather let them have it than take the chance of losing my life," said neighbor George Washington.

However, Crutcher said, "I probably would have done the same thing."

Crime Victims' Center Administrator Anna Whalley says people have varying natural reactions when they come face-to-face with crime.

"You either fight, you flee, or you freeze," Whalley explained. "That's something your body does that you have very little control over."

Whalley has some advice for what you can do if faced by a carjacker.

"We tend to respond kind of instinctually," Whalley said. "If you can gather your wits enough, hand them the property and let them go. It's not worth it."

If you are the victim of a crime, call the Crime Victims' Center at (901)222-3950.

You may be eligible for compensation, counseling, and legal advice.

If you can help police find the suspect from Monday night's incident, contact Crime Stoppers by calling 901-528-CASH (2274), texting 'AWARD' to 274637 or visiting www.528cash.org.

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