One dead, officer critically hurt in shooting at Poplar-White Station library

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — One person is dead and a Memphis police officer was critically injured in a shooting Thursday afternoon at the Poplar-White Station library in East Memphis, police say.

Memphis Police responded to a call at the library at 12:32. The officer was taken to Regional One Hospital in critical condition. The other person was pronounced dead at the scene.

MPD says the officer is in “extremely critical condition.” It is not known what led up to the shooting.

A witness reported hearing five shots fired inside the library. Police reported just before 1 p.m. that the scene was “secure.”

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has been requested by Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy to investigate the shooting.

The library is closed until further notice. Library staff were evacuated and are in a safe place, according to an email sent to staff.

The library is located at 5094 Poplar Avenue in front of Clark Tower, a busy commercial area filled with offices, restaurants, and retail nearby. It opened for programming at noon.

Poplar Avenue, a major commercial artery, was partially closed near the library. It began to reopen just before 2 p.m.

Witness Rubbie King said she went to the library Thursday to use the internet for an interview. When she turned on the lights in the library’s conference room, she says she heard five shots fired inside the library.

She looked out to see a woman hit the floor, screaming, and a man help her get up and take cover. That woman apparently was not shot.

King said she did not see the shooter but saw officers guarding someone on the floor. An officer told that person to be still.

Witness Andrea Sansone said she was driving to lunch across Poplar when she noticed a lady running out of the building with a child in her arms. The lady told Sansone there had been a shooting before getting in the car.

“The look of horror on her face just caught my attention,” she said.

Sansone said the woman told her she was about to walk into the library when she saw people running out of the building and heard gunshots.

The officer-involved shooting comes one day after the funeral of Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old who died after a traffic stop by Memphis police. The incident resulted in five officers fired and more under investigation, as well as calls for police reform.

“We need to be praying for our city,” Sansone said. “We need to be putting our armor on daily in this city. I love this city. I was born and raised in this city, so seeing things like this, it bothers me because we get a bad rap. It’s a really neat city and I would just say, continue to pray for it and pray fervently.”

This breaking news will be updated. Check back for updates.

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