MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - An off-duty Memphis police officer was robbed at gunpoint after getting his morning coffee at a gas station on Winchester Road.
The robbery happened Sunday morning at the Mapco near the intersection of Winchester Road and Airways Boulevard.
Investigators said a captain with more than 30 years experience on the force is now on paid administrative leave, because he opened fire on the robbery suspects.
The captain picked up his morning coffee from the Mapco. When he left the store heading for his car, a group of two or three men jumped him and pointed a gun at him.
"He could have been killed by those people, so I think it's self-defense," Mapco customer Marcus Grandberry said.
Memphis Police Department said deadly force can be used in self-defense if the officer has been attacked or threatened or if the officer perceives an immediately threat.
In this case, the captain did not kill or even injure any of the robbery suspects. Still, he's on paid leave until MPD learns more about what happened.
"Just as a citizen of the city of Memphis, he has the ability to defend himself," Memphis Police Association President Mike Williams said.
Customers said it's a sad reminder for us all to watch our surroundings, regardless to who you are.