Memphis Teen Shot to Death by Off-Duty Officer

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  • Memphis residents are outraged over a Monday night shooting that left a 15-year-old teenager dead at the hands of an off-duty police officer.

    Justin Thompson was fatally shot and killed after an off-duty police officer claimed the teen and his brother tried to rob him.

    The Memphis Police Department did not immediately release information about the shooting leaving the family and residents suspicious.

    This suspension along with other undisclosed information prompted the Tennessee Investigation Bureau to step in and investigate.

    The teen’s family said Justin left his home that evening with his brother to go to the store. A neighbor recalled hearing gunshots and saw the teen run across several neighborhood yards while yelling for someone to call an ambulance before he collapsed. Four bullet holes were found in the carport of a vacant house 100 yards from Justin’s home.

    The teen’s mother Shirley Thompson watched from her porch as emergency responders and police arrived to the scene not knowing that her son was the victim. Their family just moved into the area in June.

    “I stood there and watched my son die on the scene,” his mother said.

    The teen was a freshman at Southeast Prep Academy.

    “(Justin) was a sweet boy,” she said. “He didn’t bother nobody. He didn’t start fights. He stayed at the house and talked on the phone, and sometimes he played basketball.”

    In a press conference, Memphis Mayor A.C. Wharton said he is dedicated to holding the officers accountable for their actions in the incident as well as the department for withholding the information. Wharton admitted that he knew more details about the investigation, but said he could not speak on it at that time.

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