MEMPHIS, TENN. — An Iraq war veteran who was fatally shot by police at a West Tennessee park had sought care at the Memphis VA Medical Center for an undisclosed reason, officials said Thursday.
Justin Neil Davis, 24, was holding a rifle when he was shot by three officers in a park in the Memphis suburb of Germantown on Tuesday night, according to police.
Police said they had received a message from authorities in neighboring Fayette County that Davis was armed and dangerous and possibly suicidal before he was found in a vehicle at the park. The area was evacuated and police began talking to Davis by phone and a police car public-address system.
Davis, who had a rifle, then “escalated” the situation, and three officers fired their weapons, police said. David died at the scene.
Germantown police have not said how Davis escalated the situation. The officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. A bureau spokesman declined comment.
Davis, who went to high school in Germantown, was a private in the Kentucky Army National Guard from January 2008 to November 2012, according to Army Human Resources Command at Fort Knox, Kentucky. He served in Iraq as a vehicle mechanic from February 2010 to June of the same year and received several awards, including the Army Achievement Medal and the National Defense Service Medal, officials said.
When Davis enlisted in the Kentucky Guard, he listed his home of record as Greenville, Kentucky. Germantown police said his current address was in Eads. A phone number listed for the Eads address was disconnected.
On his Facebook page, Davis posted that he had been to the VA for a checkup.
Shelby County court records show Davis’ wife filed for divorce in October 2013.