An attempted robbery in Memphis early Tuesday morning went terribly wrong for the suspect who was shot and killed with his own gun when the would-be victims fought back against him.
It was just after midnight when the two targets, a male and a female both in their 20s, were inside an apartment complex in a Memphis’ Whitehaven neighborhood and were approached by a man who was armed with a gun, local media reported. The man intended to rob the couple, but didn’t expect them to fight back instead.
Apparently the male victim became involved in a physical altercation with the suspect and during the course of their struggle, the female victim then grabbed the suspect’s gun. She fired several shots, striking both the suspect and her male companion.
When police arrived, the suspect was pronounced dead. The male victim was taken to a local hospital where he is expected to recover.
And in a city with an ever-growing crime problem, the area residents lack sympathy for the would-be robber who lost his life.
“Sometimes you just get got trying to rob, trying to take from somebody. People work hard for what they got and people are going to put up a fight,” one resident told reporters, adding, “If you’re going to be a robber, if you’re going to do that, that’s what happens.”
Another man, who did not wish to be identified or appear on camera, told reporters, “They choose their profession,” implying his lack of sympathy for the deceased suspect.
Tuesday’s shooting, albeit a presumed case of self-defense, was just one more added to string a shootings in the city – almost one a day for a week.
In fact, crime in Memphis has become so out of control that city leaders are asking lawmakers to revamp the obviously broken system.
Some believe that part of the problem stems from convicted criminals not having to serve out their entire sentences.
“We need truth in sentencing, meaning if you’re convicted of a violent crime and sentenced to ten years you must serve ten years and not be out after three,” said city councilman Jim Strickland, who believes the growing crime is driving people out of the city.
Of course, sometimes the sentences are reduced to accommodate jail overcrowding, which is another problem all in itself.
“I think we need to look closely at the people who are in prison for drugs, especially drug use, and think twice about whether those people need to be in jail as opposed to people who are committing very, very violent crimes,” said news commentator Otis Sanford.
The identity of Tuesday’s robbery suspect has not been released, nor have authorities indicated whether he had a prior criminal history.
Nonetheless, residents hope that maybe the incident will serve as a wake-up call to others in the same profession.