(WMC-TV) – This morning, a Memphis police officer is At the MED recovering following six hours of surgery and receiving nine pints of blood.
Officer Willie Bryant remains in critical condition after being shot by a fellow officer. And new this morning, a source tells Action News 5 officer Bryant suffered a close range shot gun blast to the small of his back - even though he was wearing body armor.
The incident happened at 589 Arrington Avenue Thursday. The interior of the house where it all went down was an absolute mess after being raided by a team of undercover officers.
We spoke with a neighbor while on the scene.
"I would hate for someone in my family to get shot and I'm sorry it had to happen like that," said neighbor Sharon Thompson.
She was surprised to learn the Organized Crime Unit was serving a drug-related search warrant at the time of the shooting.
"I had to move from another neighborhood that was pretty bad," said Thompson. "So, the people coming out don't look like they have drug problems and they're not causing trouble," she added.
Police say the 32-year-old officer was shot as an aggressive pit bull charged at officers when they entered the house around 1:15 Thursday afternoon.
"One of the officers assigned to the entry team attempted to shoot the dog and while doing so mistakenly shot an officer," said MPD Director Toney Armstrong during a briefing outside The MED.
"We seen people running, police coming, and they brought a police out on a stretcher," said neighbor Chiquita Hawkins minutes after the shooting.
Initially, no one had any idea officer Bryant had been shot by friendly fire. But former West Memphis cop James Cooper felt badly, despite the circumstances.
"When you have a law enforcement officer out there doing their job and be fired upon," said Rev. Cooper. "It's a terrible thing, it's a frightening thing," he added.
For now, the officer who shot Bryant is on paid leave pending the outcome of an investigation. At last check, Bryant was still in critical condition after undergoing surgery.