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Off-duty Memphis officer shoots armed suspect at house party, saves countless lives

Off-duty Memphis officer shoots armed suspect at house
party, saves countless lives 1

MEMPHIS, TN – An off-duty police officer may have prevented a tragedy early Sunday morning when an armed man opened fire at a house party in Memphis, Tennessee.

The officer, who was attending the party, drew his own firearm and fired back, preventing the man from injuring others.

The incident happened at a residence at 4229 Timber Rise Road at 1:19 a.m.  Police allege that the suspect, Juan Davis, 29 years of age, began firing rounds after a physical altercation occurred at the gathering. 

They have not released any information on whether the altercation was between the off-duty officer or someone else at the party.

The Memphis police officer drew his own firearm and challenged Davis.  Davis refused to drop the firearm and approached the officer.

The officer fired, striking the suspect.

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Memphis Police said:

“Preliminary information indicated that a physical altercation erupted with shots fired after a disagreement at a house party.  An off-duty Memphis Police Officer and an unknown male fired shots. 

“One male victim was struck and transported to St. Francis by private vehicle.  The male shooting victim is listed in non-critical condition.  The off-duty officer was also injured.  He was transported to Methodist Germantown in non-critical condition.”

Memphis Police said Davis fired a shot into the air and was approaching the officer with his firearm when the officer fired. Davis was charged with aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, and convicted felon in possession of a handgun.

The off-duty officer injured his hand during the incident. Authorities did not indicate if the injury was caused by Davis’ shooting.  Memphis Police Department has not identified the officer.

The officer remained on the scene and was cooperating with the investigation.  Memphis Police Department has placed the officer on administrative leave with pay pending the outcome of the investigation. This is a normal procedure for police departments for use of force investigations involving serious injury or death of any person.

WMC5 spoke to neighbors in the area after the reported shooting. 

One neighbor, Harold Winfrey, said that he was concerned about what happened:

“Pretty disconcerting because I lived on this block for almost 20 years and with the exception of one other incident that happened right down here a few years ago, this has been a pretty quiet neighborhood.”

Another neighbor, Karen Bass, who is the wife of a Memphis police officer, was awakened by the gunshots:

“Being in a police family, it was really shocking to me to hear that it was an off-duty police officer.  And the first thing I immediately did was pray that he was ok.  And we absolutely found out that he was ok.”

Bass also threw the neighbor (and the off duty officer) under the bus, saying to the news media outlet that she felt the the party should not have taken place:

“I don’t really think that now is the time to really do any parties especially with the numbers [of COVID infections] going up.”

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October 27, 2020

QUEENS, NY– Too often in today’s media, law enforcement officers are unfairly portrayed as the bad guys, out to hurt innocent people.

The following story is just one example of many that shows the courage it takes to put on the uniform, or in this case, wear plain clothes, and jump into action to help save lives.

On Monday night October 26 at approximately 6:15pm, an off-duty New York Police Department officer happened to be inside Craft Beer Lotto Cigar Store located at 137-02 Cross Bay Boulevard in Ozone Park.

NYPD Officer Jason Maharaj from the 77th Precinct, was a customer in his local deli. He witnessed a 63-year-old homeless man enter the store and begin to argue with 26-year-old store employee Mohmediyan Tarwala. The suspect was then asked to leave the store, according to authorities.

The man, later identified as Steven Cohen, returned shortly after and fired a gun into the store, striking Tarwala once in the stomach.

Police say he also fired at a second, 32-year-old store employee, who was not hit. This is when Officer Maharaj jumped into action.

The hero cop ran outside and tackled the alleged shooter, wrestling the gun away from him, police said. Maharaj then held the suspect until on-duty police arrived, police said. The suspect was then taken into custody and recovered a Colt .45 handgun at the scene, sources said.

“While he’s inside, he hears a gunshot,” Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said Tuesday of Maharaj’s actions.

“And when he looks, he sees the individual with the gun and makes a tactical decision — [he] tackles the individual, gets the gun [and] holds him for the responding police officers.”

“And as I said, tragically, the individual who was shot, his life could not be saved, but you know, [I’m] awfully proud of the work of the police officer, [his] heroic actions,” the top cop added.

Tarwala, of Kissena Boulevard in Queens, was rushed to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, where he later died of his injuries.

Officer Maharaj has been on the NYPD force for two years . The department touted the takedown by one of its off-duty members on social media:

“Off-duty but always vigilant.” the NYPD wrote on its official Twitter account.

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