Family speaks out after fatal shooting, officer released from the hospital

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Memphis police officer shot Tuesday night was shot by a fellow officer.

The officer was hit in the arm and released from the hospital Wednesday afternoon.

The shooting happened as a warrant was being served at the home of Anthony Bess on Aldridge Street.

Bess, who had a warrant for aggravated assault, was shot and killed.

An investigation is underway.

Last week, MPD put out a BOLO for a person at the same address.

Bess was wanted after an off-duty officer was dragged by a shoplifting suspect’s car outside a Collierville Kroger.

Employees at the Kroger at Houston Levee and Winchester detained the shoplifter when an altercation ensued at about 6:30 p.m. last Tuesday.

The officer noticed what was happening and intervened to help, but the suspect got away, ran into the parking lot, and got into a car.

The officer chased after the suspect and was dragged by the getaway vehicle. His knee and leg were scraped, but he was otherwise OK.

On Wednesday, the former girlfriend and daughter of Anthony, who they call Tony, spoke out.

According to police, Bess pulled a gun on them when they attempted to take him into custody, but Bess’ family said that’s not true.

The family walked WREG through Bess’ home, which is now bloodstained and riddled with bullets. The meal Bess was cooking moments before police came to his home was still on the stove.

“He wasn’t waiting on them, he didn’t know. I just got off the phone with my dad, he didn’t know that was gonna be the last words,” Ebony Bess said as she fought back tears.

She insists her father didn’t know he had a warrant out for his arrest. She admits he has had plenty of problems with the law in the past, but said this time he was targeted by police.

“The person they’re trying to paint him to be he wasn’t even like that,” Bess’ ex-girlfriend Melissa Rudd said.

Police report several cases of so-called friendly fire accidents in the past three years.

In 2012, an officer from the Organized Crime Unit was shot in the back while serving a warrant. In 2013, another officer was hit in the leg by a shotgun pellet meant to hit a dog. Also in 2013, two officers were shot during a TACT raid.

In that case, they weren’t shot by a fellow officer, but a scathing report of the unit was later released saying dangerous and improper protocols were used, which is what Bess’ family says happened at their father’s home on Aldridge Street too.

“I’m not gonna rest until I have some answers,” Rudd said.

MPD Director Toney Armstrong declined WREG’s requests for an interview.

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