Oakland police continue hunt for suspects in officer's shooting - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Oakland police continue hunt for suspects in officer's shooting

This badge helped officer Joshua Smith escape serious injury. This badge helped officer Joshua Smith escape serious injury.

By Lori Brown - bio | email

OAKLAND, TN (WMC-TV) - Oakland police continue to search for two suspects who tried to kill a police officer earlier this week.  The officer's life was saved, officials said, by his steel badge.

According to Oakland Police Chief Keith Hogwood, Officer Joshua Smith was on patrol early Thursday morning when he saw an SUV weaving on U.S. 64 near Cherry Road. Smith stopped the car, and ordered the driver to get out for a field sobriety test.

The passenger also got out, whispered something to the driver, pulled out a knife, and swung it at Officer Smith's face.

As Smith dodged the knife, the driver pulled out a gun and shot Smith in the chest.  The force from the bullet knocked Smith to the ground, but his skin wasn't broken thanks to a new steel badge he was wearing.

The badge had only been ordered six months ago, and according to Hogwood, Smith didn't even like it.

"Officer Smith told me in the ambulance he had been complaining about how heavy the badge was," Hogwood said. "He said he was really glad last night he had the heavy badge on."

Smith spent Christmas Day at home resting with his family.

Meanwhile, Hogwood said someone should turn the two men in before they kill someone.

"If they're bold enough to pull out a gun and shoot a police officer on a traffic stop, then more than likely they're wanted for something else," he said.

Police hope someone who knows the men will recognize them from their description:

  • The driver had a red streak in his hair, and was about six feet hall.
  • The passenger was about 5'10" with a shaved head.
  • Both men were described as Hispanic.
  • Their vehicle was a charcoal gray Chevy Suburban or Tahoe, with temporary tags that expired on 09-09-09.


If you know anything that could help police solve the case call 901-465-0070.  Police say you should not try to approach the men, since they are armed and dangerous.

Copyright 2009 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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