Memphis police officer Terence Olridge was one year into his service on the force, engaged to be married, and expecting a child. But on Sunday, he was killed in his driveway under circumstances that have not been officially explained.
According to Reuters, Terence was shot multiple times around 1 p.m. Sunday afternoon in the Memphis suburb of Cordova. A man is now in custody in connection with the shooting, but no charges have been filed yet.
Olridge, 31, was off-duty at the time, and the details are still a bit unclear. The police officer and his family had just returned from church, and the suspect apparently was washing his car in his driveway when the incident occurred, his sister recalled, the New York Daily News added.
At some point, the two got into an argument near Terence’s driveway. The News noted that he was trying to break up a domestic dispute between his neighbors, and the Commercial Appeal newspaper said he became involved with a neighbor, possibly over a domestic incident. That detail remains unclear.
Also unclear is why and when the suspect opened fire. A neighbor told the Appeal that she heard 15 shots go off, while another described the sound as being like a hammer.
According to an uncle, he crawled to a home for safety. According to WREG, he banged on the garage door. His fiancée was home at the time and called for help when she learned what had happened. However, another source said he was found with multiple gunshot wounds in his own driveway. He died later at a the hospital of severe wounds.
Also unclear is whether or not he was in uniform or headed to work. He did work the night shift, and may have been due to work on Sunday. WREG reported that Terence was killed while in his uniform, according to a neighbor.
Afterward, the street where the shooting had taken place was blocked off with officers milling around the house identified as belonging to the suspect.
The family is inconsolable, WREG added. The reporter noted that some of his loved ones couldn’t even stand up. An uncle, Jerry Kelly, said, “They sad, real sad… Crying, everybody’s crying … It’s sad, sad it keeps on happening in Memphis. Just another life gets taken.”
Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong has already met with the family at the hospital.
“They are shocked, and obviously very hurt by what has taken place. The whole shock of it has them completely gripped right now. This was not an expected thing, by any means, never anticipated in any way.”
This the fourth time a Memphis police officer has been killed since 2011, CBS News added. Just this August, Officer Sean Bolton was shot and killed during a traffic stop. The suspect, Tremaine Wilbourn, is now facing a first-degree murder charge.
In July 2011, Timothy Warren was shot to death in a downtown hotel and in December 2012, Martoiya Lang was shot and killed while serving a warrant.
After the August death of Bolton, Armstrong wasn’t expecting to discuss the death of another policeman quite so soon.
“It wasn’t very long ago that I stood in close proximity to where I am standing now, and said something very, very similar to what I’m saying here. It just doesn’t get any easier. I didn’t think that we’d be here again so soon.”
Olridge had only been a police officer for a year. He graduated from the academy in February and joined the department in September of last year.
His uncle recalled that he enjoyed his job.
[Photo Courtesy Bennian / Shutterstock]