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Court appearance for man charged in Memphis officer killing

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. >> A convicted felon charged in the fatal shooting of an off-duty Memphis police officer is set to make his first court appearance in the case.

Court records show 36-year-old Lorenzo Clark is scheduled to appear before a judge by video arraignment Tuesday in Tennessee’s Shelby County. He is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm in the death of his neighbor, 31-year-old officer Terence Olridge.

Police say Olridge was heading to work when he and a neighbor got into an argument in the normlally quiet Memphis suburb of Cordova on Sunday. The altercation escalated into an exchange of gunfire and Olridge was shot multiple times and died later at a hospital, authorities said.

Olridge is one of four Memphis officers who have been shot to death in just over four years and the second to be fatally shot in less than three months.

Details about what prompted the altercation between Olridge and Clark in the suburb of Cordova are still unclear. Authorities are still investigating the shooting, Memphis police spokesman Louis Brownlee said. He declined to say whether more charges would be filed.

Olridge, who joined the department in September 2014, had a fiancee who is four months pregnant, Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong said.

After the shooting, Clark surrendered peacefully, police said. A court affidavit says Clark told police he had a 9mm Glock handgun in his pants, took the gun out and started firing several shots in the street. The affidavit says Clark fired “several shots which resulted in a death.”

Clark was sentenced to just under 2 years’ imprisonment when he pleaded guilty to reckless endangerment with a deadly weapon and unlawful possession of a weapon in a public place in March 2003, Shelby County court records show.

In August, Memphis police officer Sean Bolton was fatally shot in the line of duty. Police have charged 29-year-old Tremaine Wilbourn, who was on probation for an armed bank robbery, with first-degree murder in Bolton’s death.

Officer Tim Warren was killed while responding to a shooting at a downtown Memphis hotel in July 2011. In December 2012, Officer Martoiya Lang was killed while serving a warrant.

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