Officials: Memphis cop shooting suspect in custody

Last Updated Aug 3, 2015 7:50 PM EDT

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The man wanted for fatally shooting Memphis police officer Sean Bolton has been taken into custody.

The arrest concludes a manhunt for 29-year-old Tremaine Wilbourn that included local law enforcement near Memphis, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and U.S. Marshals, reports CBS affiliate WREG. Wilbourn was taken into custody Monday afternoon, the station reports.

Wilbourn surrendered at a federal building in Memphis on Monday. Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong said he turned himself in accompanied by an attorney. Wilbourn is expected to be arraigned on Tuesday.

Wilbourn faces a first-degree murder charge in the death of Bolton, 33, Armstrong said Sunday. Police say Wilbourn was a passenger in a 2002 Mercedes Benz that was parked illegally in a southeast Memphis neighborhood Saturday night.

They say when Bolton approached the car, Wilbourn got out of the car and confronted the officer, shooting him multiple times before fleeing.

Bolton died at the hospital.

A civilian used the officer’s radio to notify police about the shooting, according to Armstrong.

The driver of the vehicle Bolton was riding in turned himself in to police, and police had described him as a person of interest before he was released without charges.

Bolton was white, and Wilbourn is black. Armstrong said Sunday that the community lost a great man and dedicated servant.

“We as a community must come together and remember that all lives matter. Not just black lives. Not just white lives. But all lives matter,” said Armstrong, who is black.

Bolton was a Marine who served a tour of duty in Iraq, police said. He joined the police department in 2010.

Police say Wilbourn held up a bank in Covington, Tenn. in 2005, when he was 19. A sentencing memorandum filed by Wilbourn’s lawyer on May 16, 2006, said Wilbourn was persuaded by his uncle and co-defendant to join the robbery to help him with his finances and “he was awaiting news regarding a possible college scholarship based on his athletic ability.”

He was reportedly arrested by a special FBI task force and a judge sentenced him to 10 years in federal prison for that crime.

Wilbourn was reportedly released July 1, 2014, just over a year ago. He was on federal probation, and the conditions of his supervised release included that he couldn’t associate with known criminals or violate a local, state or federal law, according to Dan Kilgore, the chief U.S. probation officer for the western district of Tennessee.

Officer Bolton reportedly may have caught him violating those terms before he was shot. Armstrong said Bolton interrupted a drug deal in progress, and officers found about 1.7 grams of marijuana in the car.

That amount would typically result in a misdemeanor citation and a fine, police have said, but because it may have also constituted a parole violation, it would have also required federal probation officers to notify the court system, Kilgore told Crimesider.

Wilbourn used marijuana in December and was ordered to undergo mental health treatment July 7, according to federal court documents released Monday. It’s not clear whether he was ever evaluated.

The documents also said witnesses to the officer’s shooting identified Wilbourn in a photo lineup.

Bolton is the third Memphis police officer killed in the last four years.

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