Manhunt for murder suspect ends in Memphis backyard

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A traffic stop turned into a full-blown police chase with helicopters and K-9s joining in the hunt for a murder suspect.

Memphis police identified the suspect as Iran Westbrook, 34.  He's been wanted for the murder of 30-year-old Michael Draper, shot on Tunica Street in North Memphis on January 17.

Friday, when police tried to pull Westbrook over near Elmore and Morning Vista, he took off.

The pursuit and arrest put two neighborhoods on lockdown.

"I didn't know what was going on," Terri Blue said.  "I just saw police everywhere!"

For Terri and her niece Chania Busigo, the afternoon turned frightening.

"I look outside and there's helicopters everywhere," Chania said.  "I come outside and police are all up and down out here.  And the sirens, I'm like oh, my gosh!"

Westbrook, on the run from police, crashed his gold Pacifica at the end of Terri's dead-end street, Birkenhead in Northeast Memphis. He then took off running, hopping fence after fence.

"We saw police moving back there," Chania said pointing behind her house.

"I don't know if they caught him from this end, or on that side," Terri said.

One side of their neighborhood backs up to Memphis Memory Gardens Cemetery on Raleigh Lagrange Road.

The other side backs up to a street one street over from where Westbrook was eventually caught, Bobolink Trail near Windflower.

Suddenly, a second Memphis neighborhood was besieged by MPD manpower.

"The police chased me into the house," said one woman who didn't want to give her name.  "They told me to back into the house because they were looking for a homicide suspect.  They said go back in the house, so I went back in the house."

Squad cars blocked access to the street while a K-9 chased after and took down Westbrook. No shots were fired, and no innocent people were injured.

Back on Birkenhead, police towed away Westbrook's car, leaving behind rattled nerves and relieved neighbors.

"It's scary, because I'm like what if the kids were injured," Chania said. "You know the bus stop is right up the street and there's a lot of kids that live on this street.  He could have hurt one."

"I'm glad they got him, because we don't usually have any problems over here," Terri said.

Police confirmed Westbrook is charged with first-degree murder in Draper's death.

Copyright 2018 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.