MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong describes the job of police officers working on Beale Street one of the hardest assignments in the city.
Early Tuesday morning, police say they were forced to shoot and kill a man armed with a knife near FedExForum.
A shooting death and a fight that sent four people, including two Memphis police officers, to the hospital are just two of the serious incidents police working on Beale had to deal with the last couple of days.
Two MPD officers working in the entertainment district downtown say 19-year-old Christian Freeman charged at them with a knife near the corner of Fourth and Beale Street and they had the unenviable job of taking him down.
"It's nothing any Officer wants to do, it's the most undesirable part of this job," said Director Armstrong. "They fired and unfortunately he passed."
Freeman's shooting put a deadly exclamation point on a busy 72 hours for officers working on Beale.
It all started early Sunday morning, when police arrested Marvin Hendrix for disorderly conduct and public intoxication. Two hours later, they also cuffed Stephen Follis for being disorderly and drunk.
At 3 a.m. David Bell was locked up and charged with disorderly conduct. An hour and a half later Mario Bills and his brother Myrus Williams were arrested for fighting with police.
Arrests six and seven came at 6 a.m. when Laqioua Dobbins and Shaketa Phillips got popped for disorderly conduct and public intoxication.
Mark Mitchell became the eighth Beale Street arrest after police say he tried to run two officers down in his car at 4 p.m. Sunday evening.
Basil Fleming, also arrested for disorderly conduct at 6:15 p.m.
A few hours later Sunday night, Marvin Johnson also got a trip to 201 Poplar, charged with disorderly conduct.
"As part of that entertainment there's a large consumption of alcohol; you're working in an environment where people are surrounding you all the time," Armstrong noted. "The officers assigned down there have done a phenomenal job."
The fatal shooting of Freeman happened just before 2 a.m. Tuesday. The officers involved have been relieved of duty with pay pending the outcome of the investigation.