Edmond Otis Studdard was shot on July 7 last year after several deputies said he threatened them with a knife during a disturbance in the 1100 block of Big Orange Cove in the Cordova area. Studdard had been driving erratically, crashed his truck into his father’s parked car and had slashed his own wrists with a razor.
When deputies arrived, they said Studdard was covered in blood while holding a knife in a threatening manner and refusing their orders to drop it. Instead, he said he wanted them to shoot him. Two officers fired their weapons when he was 7 to 10 feet from them and was making verbal and physical threats.
Studdard was shot in the neck and in his right arm. He was taken to a hospital where he died two months later, on Sept. 5, of complications from the gunshot wounds.
“Mr. Studdard clearly was a troubled man, and even the efforts of a specially trained Crisis Intervention Team deputy could not alleviate the danger he posed to both himself and the deputies,” said Gen. Weirich. “Sadly, there was no other alternative for the deputies when he advanced on them with the knife.”
The decision not to file criminal charges was made following a review of an investigative report on the shooting compiled by the Violent Crime Response Team of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
The report can be found HERE.
By law, TBI reports on incidents prior to May 4 of this year are not open to the public without a subpoena or a court order. A petition filed by Gen Weirich to make the file public was recently granted in Chancery Court.
A new law now allows such reports to be made public without a court order.
All fatal shootings involving officers of the Memphis Police Department or the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office are investigated by the TBI, according to a memorandum of understanding signed in 2015 by those parties and Gen. Weirich.
The final report goes to the District Attorney for a legal review of the factual findings, a determination of whether any criminal laws were violated and a decision whether an indictment should be sought through the grand jury.