Tennessee police officials say an officer has been fatally shot during a traffic stop in Memphis.
Sean Bolton died from multiple gunshot wounds after he was shot just after 9:15 p.m. while conducting a traffic stop at Cottonwood and Perkins in Parkway Village Saturday night.
Bolton was rushed to the Regional Medical Center, but was pronounced dead there. The suspect, apparently an occupant of the car that was pulled over, was still at large late Saturday.
Dozens of officers from the Memphis Police Department gathered outside the hospital in a grim vigil Saturday night, waiting for news about Bolton, who served in the Marines. Officers from other departments, including the Shelby County Sheriff and the state troopers, joined them in a show of support.
In a briefing outside Regional Medical Center, Police Director Toney Armstrong told the media that a citizen used the officer’s radio to call for help. The officer was hit with multiple gunshots, he said.
“The suspect is still at large and officers are in the area trying to locate him at this time,” Armstrong said. “We are using all the means available to use to find the people responsible for this.”
Mayor A C Wharton said this tragedy emphasizes the dangers of the job.
“This speaks volumes about he inherent dangers of police work,” Wharton said.
Bolton, who graduated from White Station High School in 1999, served a tour in Iraq. He studied political science at the University of Memphis.
Bolton served as best man at his brother Brian’s wedding at Woodland Presbyterian Church on Park Ave. on June 20. Less than two weeks after that wedding, Bolton’s father died on July 2, according to his Facebook page.
Armstrong also referenced two other officers killed in the line of duty during his time leading the department.
On July 3, 2011 Officer Timothy Warren was shot and killed in a downtown hotel. On Dec. 14, 2012, Officer Martoiya Lang was shot and killed while serving a warrant.
“We’ve been here before,” Armstrong said. “This is my third time in four years I’ve been director. It never gets any easier.”