Home / National News / How the Memphis Cop Killing Unfolded


(MEMPHIS, Tenn.) — As the manhunt intensifies Monday for the gunman accused of killing a cop in Memphis, Tennessee, this weekend, here is a closer look at how the incident unfolded:


Saturday night, Memphis police officer Sean Bolton saw an illegally parked 2002 Mercedes-Benz, police said.

Bolton pulled in front of the car and shined his spotlight inside.

Bolton then went up to the car, where he engaged in a “brief struggle” with the car’s passenger, according to police.


The passenger, identified as 29-year-old Tremaine Wilbourn, allegedly shot Bolton several times, police said. Wilbourn and the car’s driver fled after the shooting.

When officers responded to the scene and searched the suspect’s car, they determined “Bolton apparently interrupted some sort of drug transaction,” police said.

Officers found digital scales and a bag containing 1.7 grams of marijuana in the car, police said.

The car’s driver later turned himself in, police said, and was released without charges.


Bolton, 33, was taken to a hospital in critical condition. He was later declared dead, police said.

Bolton had been a member of the Memphis Police Department since 2010. Bolton was also a Marine veteran who had served a tour in Iraq, police said.

“To lose a loved one or a family member is a horrific event,” Memphis police director Toney Armstrong said.

Armstrong added, “We lost not only an officer, but a great man, a dedicated servant to our community, and a family member.”


Wilbourn is still at-large on Monday, Memphis police told ABC News.

A murder warrant has been issued for his arrest, police said.

Police said Wilbourn is out on supervised release after being sentenced to 10 years for bank robbery.

Wilbourn is considered to be armed and dangerous, police said. A $10,000 reward has been announced for his arrest.

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