UPDATE: The Memphis Police Department sadly announced that Officer Geoffrey Redd succumbed to his injuries on Feb. 18, 2023. Read more.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — An officer with the Memphis Police Department who suffered a gunshot wound to the head Thursday at a city library is currently said to be in critical condition. The officer was identified by his pastor, who referred to him as a “great soul,” according to a report.
Memphis Police Officer Geoffrey Redd was shot at an East Memphis library Thursday. He was rushed to the Regional Medical Center where his condition remains in “extremely critical condition, according to law enforcement authorities. The suspect, identified as Torence Jackson Jr., 28, was shot and pronounced dead at the scene, WREG reported.
The incident began at approximately 12:32 p.m. when police responded to a trespassing call at a business in the 5100 block of Poplar, Keli McAlister with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said. Two officers later confronted the man accused of trespassing at the nearby library.
That’s when the suspect produced a weapon and fired at the officer, now identified as Redd. The other officer returned fire, killing the man, McAlister said.
TBI said Jackson hailed from Indianapolis, Indiana. According to Indiana state records, he’s been arrested 32 times in Indiana since 2017 on various arson, drug, and intimidation charges.
The OIS investigation being conducted by TBI remains ongoing, but Friday, the officer’s pastor said he’s praying for everyone involved.
Bishop Brandon B. Porter with Greater Community Temple said the critically wounded officer is a member of his church and the director of security. The pastor had only positive things to say about Redd, WREG reported.
“Just a great soul,” Porter said. “A very kind-hearted, mild-mannered individual, but still one that represents our city.”
Porter posted a photo of Officer Geoffrey Redd on his Facebook page (see below).
Porter said Redd is the officer who sustained a gunshot wound to the head during an encounter at Poplar-White Station Library on Thursday afternoon. The pastor was dining at a nearby restaurant when he received the horrible news.
“After I spoke with his (Officer Redd’s) wife, then Chief Davis got on the phone and said, ‘Bishop we’re here at the hospital now.’ I’m like ok, wow.”
Porter immediately made his way to the hospital, where he was greeted by Redd’s family, Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland, and Police Chief C.J. Davis.
“It touched me,” Porter said. “With all of the battering that our police department is getting and to see the kind of personal care that they have for families in these kinds of situations, because these officers put their lives on the line.”
The bishop said said it was his understanding that the second officer who returned fire after Redd was shot was a trainee who’d been on the job since December. However, MPD has not confirmed this detail.
The shooting occurred the day after Tyre Nichols’ funeral and at a time when the Memphis Police Department is under intense scrutiny, as five officers were terminated and subsequently charged with Nichols’ death.
Porter actually spoke at Nichols’ funeral. He said that police officers certainly need to be held accountable for wrongdoing, but he wants the public to know there are still many who are trying to do the right thing, WREG reported.
“There are more outside offenders than there are inside pretenders,” Porter said. “So, we have to realize that crime is still a reality but we have to have law enforcement to help calm the society in which we live.”