Police Director Toney Armstrong said Saturday that the shooting occurred as officers were executing a search warrant after having been contacted by the Memphis Animal Shelter earlier in the week. The department's TACT unit was used because the man was known to carry a gun and had exhibited threatening behavior toward MAS employees.
After entering the home around 6:20 p.m. Friday, officers encountered the man, who pointed a loaded handgun at them. A TACT officer then shot the suspect, Armstrong said, adding that he believes the man suffered from a mental illness.
"It's certainly disturbing," Armstrong said. "Most of the neighbors were saddened, but are now relieved that they no longer have to live in that situation. I can't begin to imagine being a resident of that neighborhood."
Residents of the Houston Levee Trails subdivision, who would not identify themselves for fear of retaliation, said Moore was "a collector of many things."
Armstrong said 28 animals, including hens, chickens, rabbits, and a dog, were removed from the home by MAS Friday night. He said that although it had been reported that possums and raccoon were living in the home, none were recovered, but it was like they were there at some point because the man left his back door open at all times so the animals could come and go freely.
The living conditions were extremely unkempt, police said, and urine and feces were found throughout the house creating unsanitary and unhealthy conditions.
The officer who fired the shot that killed Moore has been relieved of duty with pay pending the outcome of an investigation, which is standard MPD procedure. The officer's name will not be released until a debriefing process has been completed.
"Our TACT Officers are trained to address high risk entries," Armstrong said in an email. "We never want to take an individual's life, but it is our duty to enforce the law. Thankfully, our officers were the ones who entered this residence and that it wasn't an unarmed Memphis Animal Shelter employee. A thorough investigation will be conducted to ensure that all policies were followed."
Now this pretty much sucks. This man had a reputation as being odd and was said to have brandished weapons at times while protecting his animals. We don't know the details, but people should not be executed by the police because they have too many animals.