Memphis police arrest, charge Harbor Town murder suspect

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Memphis Police Department arrested the suspect in the Harbor Town murder.

Police said they arrested Kurtrell Williams after a Crime Stopper tip positively identified him as the suspect.

Friday night, around 6:21 p.m., officers blocked off the streets on South Brighton Road, just off Jackson Avenue in northeast Memphis, where Williams was located.

Investigators went to the house to question Williams, who locked the door and barricaded furniture against the front door.

Officials talked with him through the locked door for about an hour before Williams surrendered without incident.

Investigators obtained a search warrant for the house and Williams' vehicle and recovered the pants, a jacket, and shoes he later admitted to wearing when he said he killed Susan Grissom.

At the police station, Williams gave a complete statement of admission that he entered Grissom's home, fired multiple shots at her, and took her cash and credit card.

Williams said he left the murder scene and drove to the Exxon gas station at the intersection of 3rd and Crump, where he tried use her card at the ATM to get cash.

He said he then discarded her card on South Mendenhall Road near the intersection of East Raines Road, where it was recovered.

Williams was charged with first-degree murder, first-degree murder in perpetration of robbery, first-degree murder in perpetration of burglary, aggravated robbery, and especially aggravated robbery.

WMC Action News 5 spoke with a business associate of Grissom on Saturday, who said he is glad police worked quickly in this case.

"Well, relief mostly, but also frustration that this whole thing has been so senseless and tragic," said David Moss, who worked with Grissom for years.

WMC5 investigators found a long criminal history for Williams. Since he turned 18 in September 2014, he has been arrested eight times.

  • August 3, 2015 – burglary
  • October 1, 2015– burglary
  • December 8, 2015– burglary of a motor vehicle
  • December 15, 2015– driving under the influence, evading arrest and theft.
  • December 27, 2015– theft and vandalism
  • April 27, 2016– theft and vandalism
  • May 24, 2017– aggravated assault
  • September 7, 2017 – two counts of theft and two counts of burglary of a motor vehicle

"I think I'm pretty relieved, the island is usually a safe place for students around here," said Ryan Parawan, who lives on Mud Island. "So it's going to hear that that person is off the streets and in police custody right now."

"My heart goes out to the family and anybody who's affected," said Kavita Shaelat, who also lives on the island. "It just hurts your heart that that would happen to somebody."

"I'm happy that they got the suspects and the family won't have to go through a drawn-out process of wondering who did it," Moss said.

Williams will appear in court Monday, Nov. 13 at 9 a.m.

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