The case involved the shooting death of Terrance Deshun Carlton, 25, at around 3 a.m. on April 21, 2018, in the 4400 block of Summer Ave. Carlton matched the description of a suspect who had just robbed and wounded two people in the nearby area. One victim knew Carlton by name and the other later identified him in a photo spread.
A police lieutenant in a squad car saw Carlton walking on Summer west of Berclair. The officer pulled up and ordered him to stop, but Carlton began running and then stumbled and fell.
As the officer exited his squad car, he drew his weapon and ordered Carlton to show his hands. Instead, the officer reported, Carlton had something dark in his hand and quickly rolled over while shouting, “I’m going to kill you, (expletive.)” The officer fired twice, striking Carlton in the abdomen.
He was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. During an autopsy, two other bullets were recovered from his body from old gunshot wounds. The lab report showed Carlton had amphetamine, methamphetamine, oxycodone and marijuana in his system.
The incident was recorded on the officer’s body camera. Part of the encounter also was recorded on an area business’s surveillance camera.
A cell phone was found near Carlton’s body, and officers canvassing the nearby area located an S&W 40-cal. pistol in the 4400 block of Tutwiler. An examination by the TBI lab showed the firearm matched the cartridge casings recovered from the separate but related shootings of the two victims on Berclair. Carlton's DNA also was found on the weapon's magazine.
“(The officer) was in uniform and in the act of lawfully apprehending a suspect wanted in two nearby shootings that occurred a short time earlier,” Gen. Weirich said in a letter to Memphis Police Director Michael Rallings. “The suspect’s threats and actions gave the lieutenant abundant reason to fear for his life and to act with lethal force in self-defense.”
The ruling came after Gen. Weirich and a team of veteran homicide prosecutors reviewed an investigative report on the incident compiled by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Violent Crime Response Team. See procedure at https://www.scdag.com/home/officer-involved-shootings
Her letter to Director Rallings and the TBI report is posted on the DA’s website at www.scdag.com. The report is redacted by law and by court order.