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Suspect in Tennessee shooting ordered to undergo mental evaluation

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • A suspect is arrested in two Memphis homicides
  • One of the victims was a police officer
  • The suspect is ordered to undergo a mental evaluation
  • The suspect told police he used military tactics and planned to possibly kill more officers

(CNN) -- The suspect charged in the death of a Memphis police officer and another man in a weekend shooting appeared in court Wednesday and was ordered to undergo a mental evaluation.

Alexander Haydel, a former Army infantryman from Cleveland, Mississippi, was charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths Sunday of police officer Timothy Warren and Arthur Warren, the former husband of Haydel's wife, according the police complaint affidavit.

Haydel told police he used military tactics in an attempt to evade capture and possibly kill more officers, according to the affidavit.

The shooting, which occurred at a hotel, stemmed from a domestic dispute between Haydel and his wife, police said. The dispute between the couple escalated and Arthur Warren attempted to intervene when Hadel bit his wife's lip, according to the affidavit.

Arthur Warren and Haydel argued and Haydel retrieved two handguns from a vehicle, said the report. He shot Arthur Warren and tried to escape in the hotel's stairwell, according to the affidavit.

Police responded to the shooting and Officer Warren "encountered the suspect and was also shot," according to a Memphis Police Department news release.

The Memphis Commercial Appeal, quoting a relative, reported that the two victims were third cousins, although the relative said she didn't believe the two had ever met

After his arrest, Haydel told police he fled up the stairwell to gain a "tactical advantage" over responding officers and placed two fire extinguishers around the officer's body, with plans to shoot the extinguishers and create an explosion that would "kill anyone in the blast radius," according to the affidavit.

The plan was not carried out, and Memphis police officers arrested Haydel, who is expected to appear in court again July 12.

Haydel's court-appointed defense attorney, Gerald Skahan, did not respond to efforts to contact him.

Skahan, however, told CNN affiliate WMC-TV that, "Whenever you've got a situation like this the competency and mental state are always an issue. Whether it is in this case I don't know ... I'd be guessing if I said I know."