Luis Felipe Soto, 29, was killed on April 10 last year on the parking lot of the Shell/Flash Market at 1781 Getwell Road where he had just returned his 4-year-old daughter to his ex-wife who was engaged to the off-duty officer.
Evidence indicated that Soto pulled a gun without warning and pointed it at the officer who identified himself as a policeman and told Soto to drop his weapon. The officer managed to pull out his own weapon and fire several shots, killing Soto.
“The officer was clearly not the aggressor in this case and his actions may have saved a number of lives that night,” said Gen. Weirich. “It was truly a heartbreaking outcome, but one that could have been much worse but for the officer’s actions.”
The decision was made following a review of an investigative file issued by the Violent Crime Response Team of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. By law, TBI reports are not open to the public without a subpoena or a court order.
Gen. Weirich has filed a petition with the Chancery Court asking that the TBI file be made open for public viewing. A hearing is set for Feb. 20. TBI Director Mark Gwyn has joined in that petition to open the file.
All fatal shootings involving officers of the Memphis Police Department or the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office are investigated by the TBI, according to a memorandum of understanding signed in 2015 by those parties and Gen. Weirich.
The final report goes to the District Attorney for a legal review of the factual findings and a determination of whether any criminal laws were violated and whether an indictment should be sought through the grand jury.