Memphis store owner killed, suspect charged with murder - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis store owner killed, suspect charged with murder

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Witnesses say Smith was devoted to the community. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5) Witnesses say Smith was devoted to the community. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)
Reginald Mull (left) and Autry Hampton (right) face accessory after the fact charges related to Kent Smith's murder. (Source: Shelby County Sheriff's Office) Reginald Mull (left) and Autry Hampton (right) face accessory after the fact charges related to Kent Smith's murder. (Source: Shelby County Sheriff's Office)
Ernest Butler, 36, is charged with first degree murder in perpetration of a felony to wit aggravated robbery. (Photo Source: Memphis Police Department) Ernest Butler, 36, is charged with first degree murder in perpetration of a felony to wit aggravated robbery. (Photo Source: Memphis Police Department)
MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC) - Memphis police arrested three men in connection with the murder of a Memphis man.

Ernest Butler, 36, is charged with first degree murder in perpetration of a felony to wit aggravated robbery. Reginald Mull, 38, and Autry Hampton, 39, are charged with accessory after the fact for driving Butler away from the crime scene.

When Butler was initially arrested, he told authorities his name was "Antonio Butler." Upon further investigation, it was found that is given name is Ernest Butler.

Kent Smith was shot and killed around 9:30 a.m. Saturday morning trying to protect himself and his store during a robbery at Winchester Road and Perkins Road.

Family and friends of victim console each other, trying hard to understand why their loved one was suddenly taken from them.

Herbert Houston has known the victim for more than thirty years.

"Every since he was a little boy every since he was about 14 or 15 his dad owned a liquor store At Mississippi and Crump," said Houston.

Houston says he loved Smith like family.

"I'm hurt really I mean I'm so sick of this because you know it's other things you can do."

"You hungry, he's going to feed you. Some come in there short of money, he going to let you go. He smiles all the time," said longtime friend and customer Rickey Munn.

Memphis police say Smith was gunned down during an attempted robbery inside one of his stores. When officials arrived, they found Smith with critical injuries. Smith was transported to Regional One Medical Center where he died a short time later.

"You know you're not going to get away with it Memphis police is up on everything here and you're going to get caught," added Houston.

Police say Butler showed up at a Fire Station in Olive Branch, Mississippi with a gunshot wound to his upper right arm.

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