Memphis officer Verdell Smith struck, killed by triple-shooting suspect

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A Memphis cop was struck and killed by a fleeing triple-shooting suspect late Saturday, according to police.

The Memphis Police Department said two men were shot just before 10 p.m local time (11 p.m. ET) at a downtown bar named Westy's. The suspect then ran across the street and shot a third man, according to NBC station WMC.

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Police said the victims from the bar were taken to the hospital in critical condition while the third man was hospitalized in non-critical condition.

The suspect — described only as a black male — fled the scene in a silver vehicle, according to Memphis Police Director Mike Rallings.

Rallings said that Officer Verdell Smith was struck by the suspect's car about a half hour after the shootings. The suspect ran from his car and was taken into custody after a "brief foot chase," police added.

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Notable death penalty executions and people on death row
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Memphis officer Verdell Smith struck, killed by triple-shooting suspect

Willie Francis, the first known incident of failed execution by lethal injection, was executed on May 9, 1947. He was sentenced to death for the murder of his former boss, Andrew Thomas. 

(AP Photo/File)

John Wayne Gacy, a rapist and serial killer responsible for the sexual assaults and murders of at least 33 men, was executed in Illinois on May 10, 1994. 

(AP Photo/File)

Ted Bundy, a kidnapper, rapist, and serial killer responsible for the assaults and murders of dozens of young women, was executed in in Florida on January 24, 1989. His actual victim count remains unknown.

(AP Photo/File)

Aileen Wuornos, a serial killer responsible for the deaths of seven men, was executed in Florida on October 9, 2002. 

(AP Photo/Peter Cosgrove)

Charles Starkweather, a spree killer responsible for eleven murders, was executed in Nebraska on June 25, 1959. 

(AP Photo/Don Ultang)

Timothy McVeigh, responsble for the Oklahoma City bombing, was executed in Indiana on June 11, 2001.

(AP Photo/File)

Thomas Provenzano, a convicted murderer responsible for shooting three people, was executed in Florida on June 21, 2000.

(AP Photo/Peter Cosgrove)

Gary Gilmore, responsible for the shooting deaths of two men, was executed in Utah on January 17, 1977.

(AP Photo)

Stanley "Tookie" Williams, founder and leader of the Crips gang responsible for several murders and other crimes, was executed in California on December 13, 2005.

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Teresa Lewis, convicted of murdering her husband and stepson, was executed in Virginia on September 23, 2010.

(AP Photo/Va Dept of Corrections)

William Bonin, a serial killer responsible for a minimum of 21 rapes and murders, was executed in California on February 23, 1996.

(AP Photo/File)

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, responsible for Boston Marathon bombing, was sentenced to death on May 15, 2015.

(AP Photo/Federal Bureau of Investigation, File)

Nidal Malik Hasan, responsible for Ford Hood shooting, was sentenced to death on August 28, 2013.

(AP Photo/Bell County Sheriff's Department, File)

Joseph E. Duncan III, a convicted murderer and sex offender, was sentenced to death on August 27, 2008.

(AP Photo/Kootenai County First Appearance Video Court)

Death row prisoner Coy Wayne Wesbrook is photographed Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016, at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Polunsky Unit outside Livingston, Texas. Wesbrook, 58, is set for lethal injection March 9, 2016, for the November 1997 fatal shootings of his ex-wife and another man at her apartment in Channelview, just east of Houston. They were among five people killed during the shooting rampage. (AP Photo/Michael Graczyk)
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Smith was taken to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries, Rallings told an early-morning press conference. He said the suspect has also been hospitalized in non-critical condition and no charges have yet been filed.

Smith, 46, had been with the Memphis Police Department for 18 years. He leaves behind a fiance, children and his father, according to the department.

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland urged the city to pray for Smith's family and "to be grateful for the dangerous, important work" the city's officers perform.

"I am angry this morning -- angry at the senseless loss of a dedicated public servant, and angry at the absolutely unacceptable level of violence in our city," he said in a statement. "We must not accept this as our norm. I most certainly will not, and I will continue to act to make our city safer."

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