Patric Ferguson, a 29-year-old Memphis police officer, has been charged with kidnapping and fatally shooting a man while he was on duty. Ferguson apparently knew the victim, identified as 30-year-old Robert Howard. The family of Howard allege Ferguson shot him over a woman, WREG reported.
The Memphis Police Department said Howard’s girlfriend called officers on the night of January 6 to report he was missing, as she last saw him in the evening of the previous day. She further told them that she used an app to track down his phone, but she did not locate him when she got to the area though she found his phone.
Investigators said Ferguson, who was armed with his personal handgun, allegedly confronted Howard outside his home, forced him into the back seat of a squad car, and drove him to a nearby area where he shot and killed him. The incident happened while Ferguson, who had been with the force since 2018, was on duty.
Authorities on Sunday announced Ferguson had been arrested and immediately terminated from the force. He has also been charged with First Degree Murder, First Degree Murder in Perpetration of Aggravated Kidnapping, Especially Aggravated Kidnapping, Abuse of a Corpse, and Fabricating and Tampering with Evidence. Another suspect linked to the murder – Joshua Rogers – was also arrested and charged with Accessory After the Fact, Abuse of a Corpse, and Fabricating and Tampering with Evidence. Investigators said Rogers, 28, was an acquaintance of Ferguson and he helped him relocate the body of the victim. A body believed to be that of Howard’s has, however, since been recovered.
Investigators also said a look through Ferguson’s phone revealed he browsed the internet in search of information on how to clean up crime scenes and destroy DNA evidence, CNN reported. The affidavit also said they found evidence the suspect purchased cinder blocks, chains and other items in an attempt to “hide evidence.”
“No one is above the law,” MPD Director Michael Rallings said in a statement. “Knowing that a Memphis Police Officer, someone who took an oath to protect and serve, made the decision to commit this horrific crime is devastating. His actions were not that of a law enforcement officer and should not reflect on fellow officers.”
Ferguson is being held at the Shelby County jail without bail while Rogers has been released after posting a $25,000 bond, according to records.
“I would never think a police officer would kill my brother over something. Over just a little thing, a female,” Howard’s brother told WREG.