Surveillance video shows deadly shooting involving Shelby County deputy and sexual assault suspect

Tennessee Bureau of Investigation speaks on deputy-involved shooting

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A Shelby County deputy shot and killed a sexual assault suspect Monday morning outside the county jail near Poplar and Exchange.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is now investigating the shooting.

Surveillance video from a nearby business shows the incident, which ended with the deputy being stabbed and the suspect being shot.


Surveillance video shows deputy-involved shooting

Bystanders rush to help the deputy as another law enforcement officer tended to the suspect, now identified as 49-year-old James Lee Kirkwood. In the video, Kirkwood’s pants fall as he falls to the ground.

According to investigators, the deputy was on patrol and responded to a report of a sexual assault. When he was speaking with the victim she pointed out Kirkwood.

Well known Deputy at 201 Poplar, involved in shooting

According to TBI, Kirkwood was armed with a knife and stabbed the deputy who then fired his gun. Kirkwood died at the hospital.

Deputy shot in Downtown Memphis, suspect also shot

Memphis Police Director Mike Rallings stopped by Regional One Monday morning to check on the deputy before he was released from the hospital.

Rallings described the deputy as “one of the greatest men I know.”

“This is a person that is out every day greeting people, being a very supportive person, and it’s just a tough day for him,” said Rallings.

Rallings was one of many law enforcement officials who made their way to the hospital after the violence unfolded downtown. Various members of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office convened outside the hospital as the deputy was treated for a stab wound.

The deputy, who is not being named at this time, is on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

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