MEMPHIS, TN – At approximately 9:18pm on August 1, 2015, the Memphis Police Department’s Communications Division was alerted by a citizen through one of our officer’s radios that an officer had been shot in the area of Perkins and Cottonwood, more specifically, 4871 Summerlane Avenue.
Once officers arrived on the scene they located a MPD Officer who had been shot during what appeared to be a traffic stop.
The officer, 33-year-old Sean Bolton, was transported in critical condition but was later pronounced deceased at the hospital due to multiple gunshot wounds.
Upon further investigation, it was discovered that Officer Bolton saw a 2002 Mercedes-Benz that was illegally parked in the 4800 block of Summerlane Avenue. He pulled in front of the vehicle and illuminated the vehicle with his spotlight.
Officer Bolton then approached the vehicle when he was confronted by the passenger of the vehicle. A brief struggle ensued between the passenger and the officer at which time the passenger shot Officer Bolton multiple times.
The suspect responsible for the shooting and the driver of the vehicle fled the scene prior to additional officers arriving.
After inventorying the suspects’ vehicle it was found that Officer Bolton apparently interrupted some sort of drug transaction; digital scales and a small baggie of marijuana, 1.7 grams, were located inside of the vehicle. It is unknown at this point if additional drug paraphilia and/or drugs were taken when the suspects fled the scene.
The driver of the vehicle later turned himself in to the police and has since been released without charge. The passenger of the vehicle, who is believed to be the shooter, has been identified as 29-year-old Tremaine Wilbourn.
Wilbourn is still at large and a warrant for 1st Degree Murder has been issued for his arrest. Wilbourn is also out on supervised release by the US Western District Court for a 121 month sentence for Robbery of a Banking Institution. He is considered to be armed and dangerous.
”As I have said many times, to lose a loved one or a family member is a horrific event. Last night we lost not only an officer, but a great man, a dedicated servant to our community, and a family member,” said Director Toney Armstrong.
“As I mentioned last night, we as a community must come together and remember that ALL LIVES MATTER, not just Black lives or just White lives….ALL LIVES matter.”
“My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Sean Bolton and to all officers of the Memphis Police Department. I would also like to thank everyone from the citizens of Memphis, to residents abroad and fellow law enforcement agencies who have reached out with prayers and condolences; I truly appreciate all the kind words,” said Armstrong.
The Memphis Police Department will continue to pursue this suspect and we will exhaust all means until he is in custody.
We are also working with the US Marshall Service who contacted us and is offering a $10,000 reward for the arrest of Tremaine Wilbourn.
We ask anyone who may have any information into the whereabouts of Tremaine Wilbourn to contact Crime Stoppers at 528-CASH.
Officer Sean Bolton was hired by the Memphis Police Department in October of 2010; he was a member of the 112th Basic Recruit Class. He was assigned to the Delta Shift (5pm – 1am) at Mt. Moriah Station.
Bolton graduated from White Station High School in 1999. He was an US Veteran of Marine Corps who served a tour in Iraq.
Again, please keep the Bolton family and officers of the Memphis Police Department in your prayers.