Memphis police sergeant arrested in his own shooting incident www.privateofficer.com
MEMPHIS, Tenn. Sept 30 2011 — A Memphis police sergeant has been arrested more than three weeks after he was shot and told investigators a false story about events that left him in critical condition, authorities said Wednesday.
Police Sgt. Norman Benjamin, 47, was arrested Wednesday and charged with false reporting, solicitation to commit first-degree murder and unlawful sale, loan or gift of a firearm, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said.
Benjamin was shot in the abdomen Sept. 3 and was hospitalized in critical condition, authorities said. He told investigators he was shot in his car by a Hispanic man and police began looking for a suspect, according to police.
Police Director Toney Armstrong later said investigators believed Benjamin misled them and that he actually had been shot during a domestic argument by a woman with whom he had been romantically involved. One woman was initially charged with attempted second-degree murder and a weapons violation in the case, but those charges were later dropped after it was determined that the woman did not shoot Benjamin, authorities said.
It still remains unclear who actually shot Benjamin, TBI spokeswoman Kristin Helm told The Associated Press via email.
The TBI also said Wednesday that, during their investigation, agents found that Benjamin tried to hire a hit man this past summer to kill someone for $800. Evidence also revealed that Benjamin purchased a handgun in August for an underage female, the TBI said.
Benjamin was arrested at his home. Once the TBI completeds its investigation, the case will be turned over to the District Attorney’s office and it could pursue additional charges, authorities said.
Court records do not show that Benjamin has been booked or if he has a lawyer. There is no published telephone listing for a Norman Benjamin in the Memphis area.
During a news conference Sept. 8, District Attorney Amy Weirich said every possibility in the strange case was being investigated.
Armstrong said Benjamin is to blame for the confusion.
“He could have pretty much quelled this entire investigation (by saying) ‘Hey, I’m involved in a relationship with a young lady and it went this way or that way or whatever,’ and the facts would have laid right there,” Armstrong said at the time.
Latino Memphis, a group representing area Hispanics, has expressed disappointment with Benjamin’s initial statement to investigators state that a Hispanic man shot him.