A Memphis police officer has been charged after allegedly kidnapping and shooting a man dead while on duty, police have said.
Patric Ferguson, 29, is facing numerous charges including first-degree murder, especially aggravated kidnapping, abuse of a corpse and fabricating and tampering with evidence.
In a news release on Sunday, the Memphis Police Department (MPD) in Tennessee said Ferguson was fired immediately after his arrest.
According to police, investigators determined 30-year-old Robert Howard had been taken from a residence in the 3500 block of Mark Twain Street in Memphis and shot by Ferguson, who was known to the victim.
Ferguson was on duty at the time, the release said.
“After a review of the evidence in this case, it was found that Ferguson, acting on his own accord, armed himself with his personal handgun, encountered the victim outside the residence, and forced the victim in the rear of a squad car,” police said in the release.
“Ferguson then drove to the area of Frayser Boulevard and Denver Street, where he shot and killed Mr. Howard.”
Police said officers had received a call about the missing man at around 8.30 p.m. on January 6. His girlfriend told officers that he had last been seen in the 3500 block at around 5 p.m. the day before.
The woman also told police that she had used an app to track Howard’s cell to near Lamar Avenue and Shelby Drive. She said she located the phone there, but didn’t find Howard. Police said the missing persons and homicide bureaus then worked together to gather additional information.
Investigators said 28-year-old Joshua Rogers, an acquaintance of Ferguson, had assisted Ferguson with moving Howard’s body after he was killed.
Rogers was also arrested and is charged with accessory after the fact, abuse of a corpse, and fabricating and tampering with evidence.
Ferguson has been employed by the MPD since October 2018 and was assigned to the Tillman Station.
“No one is above the law. Knowing that a Memphis Police Officer, someone who took an oath to protect and serve, made the decision to commit this horrific crime is devastating. His actions were not that of a law enforcement officer and should not reflect on fellow officers,” MPD Director Michael Rallings said.
“Our investigators responded swiftly and did an outstanding job by identifying the suspect responsible. This is an example of the professionalism and dedication that is displayed daily. Regardless of who you are, our investigators will conduct a thorough investigation and will seek justice for all victims.”
Ferguson was booked into custody on Sunday, according to the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office. A court hearing is scheduled for Monday.
Memphis Officer Kidnapped and Killed a Man While on Duty, Police Say The British Journal Editors and Wire Services/ Newsweek.