At least 8 hurt in shooting, officer assaulted in downtown Memphis, police say

One officer was assaulted and eight people were injured in a downtown Memphis shooting, police say.
Published: Aug. 14, 2023 at 11:53 AM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC/Gray News) - Eight people were taken to the hospital after a shooting Sunday morning in the heart of downtown Memphis, according to police.

Officers responded to the shooting just after 2:30 a.m. Sunday at South B.B. King Boulevard and Peabody Place.

“It was crazy,” said an eyewitness who works at a nearby bar on Beale Street. “Eight to 10 people were trying to jump over our fence and get into our door.”

Another witness said he heard the shots ring out and “can’t fathom the thought of more violence here.”

“I’m not surprised,” said Ereale Scott, who was on Beale Street Sunday afternoon.

Scott spends her time working and living between Memphis and Dallas, and says the last time she was in the Bluff City was when accused gunman Ezekiel Kelly went on a shooting rampage that killed three people and put the city on lockdown.

A viewer shared video of the shooting. GRAPHIC WARNING: The contents of this video may be considered disturbing to some.

A video captured the sound of shots being fired and people running in downtown Memphis early Sunday morning.

The eight victims were taken to several different hospitals, all in non-critical condition. The injured men range in age from 14 to 54, while the two women are ages 19 and 37.

State Senate Minority Leader Raumesh Akbari says these instances are just a few of the reasons the state needs to take a serious look at gun laws in the special session on safety that was called by Gov. Bill Lee.

“It’s a Democrat and Republican issue,” Akbari said. “Whether you live in Memphis or Mountain View.”

Akbari cited the need for stricter background checks for people who wish to purchase a firearm, as well as training for those who wish to use them.

Scott, who told WMC she’s had a permit to carry before the permitless carry went into effect in 2021, said the issue isn’t cut and dry.

“You have people like me who carry to protect themselves,” said Scott. “But open-carry has everyone wanting a gun and then they start shooting everyone. It’s complicated.”

The special session is set to start in Nashville on Aug. 21.

In an update released by the Memphis Police Department, they shared that while officers were working to disperse the crowd, an officer was assaulted by an individual and sustained minor injuries.

“I am outraged and disgusted at the shameless assault on a member of the Memphis Police Department,” State Rep. John Gillespie said. “Anyone who attacks a police officer should be prosecuted to the highest extent of the law.”

Police said there is no suspect information at this time.