Police diffuse tense drug situation - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Police diffuse tense drug situation

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

It was a potentially deadly drug raid on a home right across the street from an elementary school.
 
Memphis police tactical and organized crime unit officers were serving a search warrant when they were shot at, but they were able to defuse the situation and talk the suspects out of the house without anyone getting hurt.

It was a success story between two elite police units working together. The officers were taking gunfire, but they were able to fall back on their training, defuse the situation, and make three drug arrests without firing a shot.

MORE: Officers fired upon serving drug warrant


The officers were looking for marijuana and served a drug warrant at a house in the 800 block of Perkins, just after 9:15 p.m. When they approached the door they say two young men and an older woman inside started shooting.

The North Perkins Avenue house where it happened is across the street from Berclair Elementary School.  

"Just appalled that happened so close to where a lot of kids go to school," said Tara Hale, parent.

Police say the trio were growing and selling marijuana. They also had a cache of weapons and  fired on police when they approached the front door.
    
The TACT unit did a tremendous job at executing that search warrant and evaluating what they had when they couldn't breach that door and couldn't get in that door without somebody getting injured or worse getting killed," said Police Director Toney Armstrong.

The city's top police officer was on the scene at North Perkins during the raid. He was observing and reviewing procedures.

"We talked those people out of the house," Director Armstrong said. "We had, for all intensive purposes, we had a barricade situation and we actually talked those people out of the house and talked them into giving up.
    
Officers arrested 55-year-old Rebecca Williams, her son 28-year-old Alton Williams, and 28-year-old Andrew Frans. All three are facing assault, drug and weapons charges.

Detectives found several handguns and an AR-15 assault rifle in the trunk of a car.

"It is dangerous times they are dangerous times and more people are continuing, are choosing to arm themselves and more are continuing to challenge officers with firearms," Director Armstrong said.

Parents and school children say they knew something was going on inside the home. They're relieved the police took out the drug house.

"They have the right to do what they need to do to get it under control and take care of what's going on," Hale said.

Though this case was a success story for police, in the month of January, Memphis officers have been involved in three shootings. There were 14 police-involved shootings in 2012.

Director Armstrong says they are dealing with criminals who are arming themselves and confronting officers. He wants the state to look into tougher criminal penalties for confronting officers or using a gun.

"There is a certain amount of respect that has to go along with this uniform and the badge and the oath that I've taken," the police director said. "I think when somebody makes a conscious decision to violate that, I think that they should be held to a higher standard of the law."

The director says this issue isn't exclusive to Memphis. Officers around the country are seeing a lack of respect.

The trio of drug suspects are expected to make their first court appearance Friday.

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