Police drop charges hours after wrong man arrested for murder of off-duty cop

WEST MEMPHIS, AR (WMC) - West Memphis Police Department arrested the man they said killed an off-duty police officer, and then promptly decided he couldn't have been the killer.

Oliver Johnson, an officer in Forrest City, was shot and killed Saturday afternoon in West Memphis.

Eye witnesses identified Bobby Patterson as the person who shot and killed Johnson. Patterson was arrested Tuesday morning in West Memphis.

WMPD alerted media at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday that Patterson had been identified and arrested as the man who killed Johnson.

At 12:15 p.m., WMPD alerted media that Patterson was no longer charged with murder.

Investigators said Patterson spoke with detectives after being arrested. He provided a verifiable alibi that made it impossible for him to be the person who killed Johnson.

WMPD said all charges related to Johnson's death had been rescinded. However, Patterson was still charged with possession of a firearm by a felon.

The person who killed Johnson remains unknown at this time.

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