MPD sergeant recovering after critical shooting - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

MPD sergeant recovering after critical shooting

The shooting happened in the area of Summer and Avon. The shooting happened in the area of Summer and Avon.

(WMC-TV) – A Memphis police officer was shot Saturday afternoon in the area of Avon and Summer.

Sgt. Norman Benjamin, 47, was taken to The MED in extremely critical condition.

Benjamin has been with the department for 14 years and serves with the auto theft bureau.

"On the parking lot in the 4700 block of Summer, our officer was approached by the suspect," said Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong.  "A struggle over a firearm ensued and the officer was shot."

Armstrong said Benjamin was not shot with his own gun.

The suspect is described as a Hispanic man with long dark hair, black cut-off t-shirt and dark jeans.  He was last seen heading northbound on Avon. He may still be armed.

Memphis Police Department spokeswoman Karen Rudolph said Benjamin was in extremely critical condition, but has been stabilized.

Rudolph said Benjamin was shot in the abdomen while in his unmarked police vehicle.  He is expected to survive.

"He is out of surgery, he has been stabilized, and will be in the hospital for quite some time," said Armstrong.  "We are asking for your continued prayers."

Armstrong said Benjamin was not wearing a protective vest.  He said it is not their policy for investigators to wear one.

Armstrong, along with Memphis Mayor A C Wharton, gave statements outside the MED.

"I want to thank the officer for his service, and we want the family and his colleagues to know that we are thankful for them and their service and that we are praying for the recovery of the officer," said Wharton.

Chuck Hogan, owner of Charlie's Steaks located near the scene, said he did not hear any gunshots.

"Not at all, we just saw the white car come over here, that's it," said Hogan.  "We were just very busy, the store was filled with customers.  We didn't even realize something had happened until someone looked up and saw the fire truck and police cars."

This shooting occurs two months to the day after Memphis Police officer Timothy Warren was shot and killed in downtown Memphis.

Armstrong urged anyone with information about the suspect to call Crime Stoppers at 901-528-CASH.

SLIDESHOW: More images from the scene of the shooting

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