Authorities are on a manhunt for a suspect in the fatal shooting of a Memphis police officer during a drug deal. Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong said at a Sunday news conference that 29 year old Tremaine Wilbourn, faces a first-degree murder charge in the death of 33 year old Officer Sean Bolton.
According to Armstrong, Wilbourn was a passenger in a 2002 Mercedes Benz that was parked illegally in a southeast Memphis neighborhood Saturday night. Bolton supposedly saw the car and shined his squad car’s spotlight on the vehicle.
Armstrong says afterwards Bolton then got out of his car and walked toward the Mercedes, which is when Wilbourn got out of the Mercedes, confronted Bolton, and they got into a physical altercation. Armstrong said Wilbourn then took out a gun and shot Bolton multiple times. Bolton died at a hospital.
Wilbourn and the driver then ran away. However the driver later turned himself in to police, and he was described by police as a person of interest in the case before he was released without being charged. Armstrong also said that Bolton inadvertently interrupted a drug deal in progress.
1.7 grams of marijuana was found inside the car by officers, which probably would have just resulted in a misdemeanor citation and a fine for Wilbourn. Armstrong says Wilbourn is armed and dangerous. Wilbourn was on supervised release after serving a federal sentence for robbery of a banking institution.
Police said Bolton was a former U.S. Marine, who served a tour of duty in Iraq and joined the department in 2010. The U.S. Marshal’s office has offered to help in the search for Wilbourn.
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