Criminal history of man killed by deputy Monday reveals pattern of violence and sex offender registry violations

Suspect shot after stabbing deputy had criminal history

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Surveillance video from a business on North Fourth Street captured the deadly interaction between James Lee Kirkwood and the Shelby County deputy Monday morning.

You can see in the video during the pursuit Kirkwood stabbed the deputy who then after a pause returned with gunfire fatally wounding Kirkwood. That shooting is now under investigation by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

Sexual Assault call leads to deputy-involved shooting in Downtown Memphis

“We are unable to delve into the details of the deputies injuries but what we can say is that he was treated and released from Regional One hospital for a stab wound to the arm," said Capt. Anthony Buckner, Shelby County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson. “He is now home recovering, a bit shaken but fortunate to be alive.”

The Shelby County Sheriff's Office is still not releasing the name of the injured deputy.

But he is widely known by anyone who frequents the courthouse, often seen in Judge Coffee's courtroom during high profile trials.

Many know the deputy outside the courthouse for his acts of kindness frequently purchasing food for the homeless in the area.

Though, a closer look at James Kirkwood shows a repeated history of Sex Offender Registry violations and violence.

A 1994 rape conviction in Crittenden County landed the 49-year-old on the Tennessee Sex Offender Registry.

Arkansas court records described the crime as violent.

The jury found Kirkwood guilty of the crime and he was sentenced to 17 years in prison.

Two years after Kirkwood was released from an Arkansas prison he was arrested several times by Memphis police between 2012-2016 for assaults and missing required monthly check-ins with law enforcement as required by law as a sex offender.

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