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Breaking News

Three Dead and Three Wounded After Shootings in Memphis

Aired March 8, 2000 - 3:23 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

DONNA KELLEY, CNN ANCHOR: Bobbie, thanks.

As we were telling you earlier, in Memphis this afternoon when authorities and firefighters went to a house in the Memphis area that apparently, according to WMC, they were ambushed by a man who came out of the garage shooting. We want to join WMC who is bringing us coverage of a new conference from the police chief there.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

RICHARD SOJOURNER, MEMPHIS FIRE DEPT.: At this point, the investigators are on the scene, both the city investigators and the county investigators. They are working cooperatively, as well as the fire department investigators, the arson investigators. They all -- are all doing a joint investigation of this. The lead investigating unit will be the Memphis Police Department since this did occur in the city of Memphis.

QUESTION: Was there any information exchanged between anyone, any of the firefighters, or any of the responding law enforcement with him as far as -- to get any indications as to why he was doing this? Any kind of motive, any words exchanged at all?

SOJOURNER: My understanding is that our officer confronted him when he was running out doing the shooting, demanded that he put the gun down. He refused to put the gun down, pointed the gun at another deputy, at which point our officer fired on him. That's the only verbal exchange that I'm aware of.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

SOJOURNER: No, I don't know exactly why they -- I don't know how our officers came to be here other than possibly responding to the fire what it would be.

QUESTION: It was a police officer?

SOJOURNER: Yes, Memphis police officers -- a Memphis police officer fired the shot that struck the suspect, that's correct.

QUESTION: And how old was this person?

SOJOURNER: That I don't know.

QUESTION: What kind of...

QUESTION: Was the woman in the house his wife?

SOJOURNER: That I don't know either. I don't even know that he lives there.

QUESTION: It seems to be a lot of officers here in a kind of somber mood. I guess this has to be, you know, one of the worst things that you all can imagine. What do you say to them now?

SOJOURNER: I don't know what you can say to them at this point. It's a situation that can happen at any time without any provocation whatsoever, as we've seen here. My understanding is that none of the firefighters, none of the law enforcement personnel did anything to provoke this situation.

QUESTION: I know it's early, but is it possible that the fire was set in the house to cover up either a murder of the woman inside or some other crime that was taking place inside the house?

SOJOURNER: It would be pure speculation. I have no idea why.

QUESTION: Would you say again as far as at best you know who the three DOA's are?

SOJOURNER: The sheriff's -- there is a sheriff's deputy that was killed. There is a firefighter that was killed. And there is a female that was found inside the residence that is also dead.

QUESTION: All right. And how many wounded as far as you know at this point, beyond that?

SOJOURNER: Two additional.

QUESTION: And who are those...

SOJOURNER: I'm sorry, three additional including the suspect.

QUESTION: The suspect and who are the other two?

SOJOURNER: A firefighter and a bystander.

QUESTION: Bystander out on the street?

SOJOURNER: Yes, either on the street or passing by in a car.

QUESTION: Can you say if they were male or female, the ones that are dead, the firefighter and the sheriff's deputy?

SOJOURNER: I think they're males, I think all males.

QUESTION: So we have got three DOA, three wounded?

SOJOURNER: That's correct.

QUESTION: One of those is the suspect? SOJOURNER: Yes.

QUESTION: And he was shot by?

SOJOURNER: Our officers.

QUESTION: Police officers?

SOJOURNER: Yes. Memphis police officers.

UNIDENTIFIED WMC ANCHOR: All right. Well, this sheds a whole lot of new fresh light on this situation. As you heard R.W. Sojourner, a Memphis police department inspector report to us right there, three people have been killed and three have been wounded.

KELLEY: And so WMC bringing us more on that police chief news conference this afternoon. The latest we have for you, five people, including the suspect, have been shot around Memphis this afternoon after firefighters responded to a call to go to a house that was on fire. So six people have been shot. Three people are dead. And of those injured, we have three injured. So we will keep you up-to-date on what's happened this afternoon in Memphis, Tennessee, as soon as we keep getting more details on this story.

Back to "TALKBACK LIVE" and Bobby Battista.

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