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Officer Joseph McKinney may have been killed by friendly fire

While the Shelby County D.A.’s Office said the investigation leads to a friendly fire incident, they still place blame for his death on the two teen suspects.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Shelby County District Attorney’s Office told ABC24 Wednesday that information from the investigation into the death of Memphis Police Officer Joseph McKinney on April 12 leads them to believe he was killed by friendly fire.

This information comes after Shelby County D.A. Steve Mulroy requested the 17-year-old suspect in the case be charged with 13 counts of attempted murder in adult court. When asked why the teen wasn’t charged with murder, the D.A.’s Office cited friendly fire, or, an accidental shooting by a fellow Memphis Police officer, as the reason why.

The D.A.’s Office said, regardless of the exact cause of McKinney’s death, they place the blame solely on the two teen suspects. 

“We believe the 17-year-old’s reprehensible actions are still the real cause of Officer McKinney’s death,” The D.A.’s Office said in a statement. “Should a legal avenue open up for additional prosecution, be assured we will pursue it.”

McKinney died on April 12 in an early morning shooting that injured two other Memphis Police officers, and left one suspect dead with another, the 17-year-old, in critical condition.

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