An undated image released by the Memphis police department shows Officer Timothy Warren who was shot and later died while responding to a call at a hotel in Memphis, Tenn., Sunday night July 3, 2011. A second person was shot and died and a suspect is in custody. (AP Photo/Memphis Police Department)
MEMPHIS — The deadly shootings of a Memphis police officer and a Mississippi man in a downtown hotel began with a domestic dispute between the suspected shooter and his wife, police said Monday.
Alexander Haydel, 22, is in custody in the Shelby County jail on suspicion of first-degree murder. The Commercial Appeal reported that he is expected to be charged today.
Police Director Toney Armstrong said the Sunday incident began when a woman and her husband from Cleveland, Miss., were visiting Memphis for a family gathering and got into an argument at the Doubletree Hotel.
The woman’s ex-husband, 49-year-old Arthur Warren, tried to intervene. The husband then went to his car to get a gun and returned to the hotel, Armstrong said.
Police received a report of shots being fired and responding officers found Warren on the ninth floor dead from multiple gunshot wounds. Arthur Warren is not related to Officer Timothy Warren, who was shot in a stairwell at the hotel and later died.
The officer’s best friend told WMC-TV that Timothy Warren was a good Samaritan who often helped the homeless and dearly loved the wife and two children he left behind.
Jerome Gray said Monday the 39-year-old Warren, originally from Cleveland, Miss., was a Christian and the two had talked about starting a church together as pastor and co-pastor.
Gray said he was at Warren’s house on Sunday, shortly before the officer’s shift started.
“We were talking about scripture,” Gray said. “We were talking about God. We were talking about what’s the purpose that we have, and where God was trying to take us to.
“I said, ‘Is there something else you would like to do?’ He said, ‘I would like to minister full-time, a full-time ministry,’ but he said, ‘Policing is what I do and it’s the only thing I know.”’
Warren’s beat was the Memphis Entertainment District and Gray said the officer had recently switched from the swing shift to the night shift in order to spend more time with his 8-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter.
“He had switched shifts to accommodate himself so he could take his son off to school in the morning, and so he could see him come home off the bus,” Gray said.
Gray also said Warren often helped the homeless people he encountered.
“If he saw a homeless person, he would give them a bottle of water and take them to a restaurant and feed them. I’ve seen him take people off the street and get them a hotel room for the night. Pay for them to have shelter if it’s raining outside.”
Investigators told WMC-TV they have found no connection between Officer Warren and the other victim, although they shared a surname and were both from Cleveland, Miss.
Police cars and heavily armed officers swarmed the hotel and surrounding area after shots were reported. The hotel sits at a busy intersection adjacent to the historic Peabody hotel and the Memphis Redbirds minor-league stadium, where a game was in progress.
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