Trigger happy officer under investigation - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Trigger happy officer under investigation

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

As the TBI continues its investigation into the shooting death of a Raleigh teenager, new, disturbing information has surfaced concerning the Memphis police officer who killed him.

If you talk to some retired police officers, many are quite proud of the fact they never had to shoot anyone in their careers. However, Officer Terrance Shaw's police records indicate he doesn't appear to have a problem taking a life.

Two different police shooting deaths in two different places share a common factor. The bullets fired belonged to Officer Shaw.  One happened in February 2009. The other occurred on September 24th 2012.

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Both generated tears, accusations, community outrage and lingering questions about just what happened leading up the shootings. But, at Tuesday's City Hall news conference to announce the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation was brought in to lead the probe into the death of 15-year-old Justin Thompson, Memphis Mayor A C Wharton failed to publicly pass along Shaw's identity or any of his questionable history of police work.

 "I have to stand here knowing what I know. But, there's some procedures out there I can't say what I know. That perplexes me," Wharton said.

Just as perplexing is reading the police files on the 28-year-old officer who has managed to be involved in four deadly shootings of humans and animals since he officially joined the force 6 years ago. Pending the results of the investigation into Thompson's death, Shaw has led a charmed life by having three of his shootings ruled "justifiable" by police and county prosecutors. After killing a dog in November 2008, Shaw teamed with then partner William Priddy for what was labeled a routine traffic stop on Valentine's Day 2009. The case file says the police came upon 25-year old Courtney McGowan and a passenger in his car.

Sgt. Lambert Ross described what happened next, "One suspect got out of the vehicle they were checking him at that point. At that point the suspect put the vehicle back in drive and struck one officer."

Mayhem would ensue as described by one homeowner who heard shots.

All of the four shots fired, two of which hit McGowan, came from Shaw. Officer Priddy never fired. With the recommendation from then Police Director Larry Godwin, prosecutors agreed to rule the shooting "justifiable." Surprisingly, Shaw's name was never released to the media as the officer who fired the fatal shots.

This time MPD Director Toney Armstrong alleges Shaw was the "target of an armed robbery" and that it's 15-year-old Thompson who was the suspect.

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