Sunday 14 April 2024

Man Suspected Of Killing Memphis Cop Was Out Of Jail On Felony Charges

 The 18-year-old accused of killing a Tennessee police officer and injuring two others when they were responding to a suspicious vehicle call early Friday morning was out of jail on felony charges at the time of the incident.

While responding to the call, investigators say Memphis police officer Joseph McKinney was killed by Jaylen Lobley, who was in the vehicle and fired out at the officers. The other officers with McKinney returned fire and two were injured by gunfire. One officer was hospitalized in non-critical condition and one received medical attention at the scene of the shooting.

Lobley was also killed during the shootout as police took two other suspects into custody as well, including a 17-year-old who was in critical condition. Lobley had been released from jail without bond by a Shelby County judge after being hit with weapon and theft felony charges last month, according to a report from ABC24. He was facing two counts of motor vehicle theft, unlawful possession of a weapon, and multiple vandalism charges. 

According to the report, Lobley was arrested on March 5 for car theft and police found him in possession of a handgun with an illegal modifier. The report said he admitted to police that he had stolen two cars. On March 7, a judge allowed him to go free without bond on his own recognizance. ABC24 reported that the judicial commissioner who approved the release was Christopher Ingram.

Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy claimed that his office had “strongly argued against lowering the bond” for Lobley, “citing the defendant’s danger to the community.”

​​Memphis Police Association President Matt Cunningham ripped into the decision to allow Lobley back on the street.

“The suspect in this shooting was released from jail on his own recognizance — he got right back out on the street and armed himself, and got into a shooting with an officer who died, and he lost his life as well — and that’s tragic, too,” he told NBC News. “If he had been kept in jail, he would be alive himself. So that’s the situation here in Shelby County, we have to do something about the revolving door at our jail.”


Tennessee Governor Bill Lee offered his prayers and support for McKinney’s family on Friday.

“Maria & I are deeply saddened by the death of Memphis Police Officer Joseph McKinney while serving in the line of duty,” he posted on X. “Our prayers are with Officer McKinney’s family, the recovering officers & the Memphis law enforcement community.”

Memphis, which has one of the worst murder rates in the United States, had nearly 400 homicides in 2023.

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