The Commercial Appeal

Police ID officers in fatal shooting

Carjacking suspect killed; 5 suspended from duty pending investigat­ion

- By Jody Callahan

The Memphis Police Department has identified the five officers who fired their weapons at a carjacking suspect last Monday night, killing him.

Rico Rice, 34, was shot and killed at a convenienc­e store at 680 Jackson after a wild incident that included a carjacking, a death-defying ride atop a Prius and multiple gunshots from the officers.

The officers, all of whom have routinely been suspended from duty until the investigat­ion is complete, are:

Otto Kiehl, 53, employed since July 2001.

Adam Pickering, 36, employed since August 1998.

Gregory Cowan, 23, employed since October 2008.

Bruce Welch, 30, employed since May 2000.

Jonathan Gross, 24, employed since January 2010.

The incident began around 8:45 that night, when police got a carjacking call to the BP station at 1159 Chelsea in North Memphis. According to the two victims, a 22-year-old man and a 38-year-old man, Rice approached them while they were pumping gas, asking for a ride.

They said no, and Rice pulled a gun, taking off in the 2003 Dodge Caravan minivan. A 40-year-old woman was still inside the van.

Police found the van in the area of Hernando and McKellar, with the woman still inside. When they pulled the van over, she fled, screaming for help.

Rice also jumped from the van, running onto Interstate 240 at South Parkway. There, he leapt atop the roof of a 2010 Toyota Prius.

Police tried to grab him, but he fought back, hitting one cop in the head with a pistol.

Rice then turned the gun on the Prius driver, ordering him to drive. Around I240 and Jackson, Rice jumped off the car and fled into a convenient store.

Officers pursued Rice into the store, but he turned and pointed his weapon at them. They fired, striking Rice. It appears Rice did not fire his weapon.

— Jody Callahan: (901) 529-6531

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