Pursuant to a Memorandum of Understanding with the Memphis Police Department and at the request of 30th District Attorney General Amy Weirich, TBI Special Agents continue to investigate the circumstances of an officer-involved shooting that occurred in Memphis Wednesday afternoon.
Ongoing investigative efforts indicate the incident began at 2:50 Wednesday afternoon when two Memphis Police Department officers, in separate marked vehicles, attempted to stop a tan Chevy Impala, with two African-American men inside, for a traffic violation in the area of Trezevant and Lowell. The driver refused to stop and a brief pursuit began, which the Memphis Police Department reported they subsequently terminated for safety reasons. The officers, however, continued to follow the Impala as it continued to travel in a reckless manner on South Parkway and eventually crashed in front of a church in the 800 block of South Parkway.
At that time, the two men inside the vehicle exited and fled on foot in different directions, after which the officers exited their vehicles and pursued on foot. An off-duty Shelby County deputy, who happened to be in the immediate area, noticed the situation and joined the two officers in the pursuit, during which one of the subjects, Johnathan Bratcher (DOB 12-7-83), who was the driver of the vehicle, brandished a handgun and fired several times in the direction of the officers. At that time, the MPD officers fired their weapons, striking Bratcher, who later died as a result of his injuries at the scene. The sheriff’s deputy did not fire a weapon. None of the law enforcement officers sustained injury during the incident.
Since the incident occurred, more than a dozen TBI Agents and Forensic Scientists, with the cooperation of the Memphis Police Department, worked to collect any and all relevant evidence (including a weapon believed to have used by Bratcher in the incident). Agents also collected witness statements, including a statement from the second subject involved in the incident. At this time, however, he is not in law enforcement custody and not facing charges, so we are not in a position to release or confirm his identity.
Upon the completion of our investigation, for which we are not able to provide an estimated duration, our agency will compile a set of facts related to the incident and subsequently deliver the case file to the District Attorney General for her further review and consideration.
Per our office’s policy on officer-involved shootings, we will not identify the officers involved in the incident and will instead refer questions of that nature to their respective departments.
Anyone with information that may assist the ongoing investigation should contact the TBI at 1-800-TBI-FIND.