Memphis Police Director Comments On Shooting of Steven Askew

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On Thursday, January 17th, two Memphis Police officers responded to a loud music complaint on Tyrol Court in the Aspenwood Apartments. They didn't hear any loud music, but as they checked out the area, the officers noticed a man asleep in a Crown Victoria.

According to officers Ned Aufdenkamp and Matthew Dyess, they approached the vehicle to check on the man's welfare when they noticed a handgun inside the car. The officers say they knocked on the windows and gave "verbal commands" to the man. The officers said the man awoke and armed himself with the gun, pointing it at them.

Both officers fired their weapons and the man was killed. He was later identified as 24-year-old Steven Askew, and his parents have said that he was waiting in his car for his girlfriend, who lives at the apartment complex, to get off work.

A witness at the scene filmed a few moments after the shooting, and some who have viewed the video have said it appears that officers fired additional shots after Askew was killed. Memphis Police director Toney Armstrong held a press conference this afternoon and said that, after watching the video, he believes the officers did not fire the additional shots.

"I did not determine extra shots occurring," Armstrong said. "There is a loud noise [in the video], but it doesn't sound like gunfire."

Armstong said he came to that conclusion based on his experience using firearms in the commission of his job.

Armstrong would not say how many shots the officers fired because the investigation remains open. Officers Aufdenkamp and Dyess, both of Mt. Moriah Station, have been relieved of duty with pay while the matter is investigated. The MPD is asking for anyone with information that might aid in the investigation to contact the homicide bureau at 636-3300.

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