Last updated: 7 months ago
Soto was fatally shot by off-duty police officer Marshall Smith at a gas station during a custody handover between Soto and his ex-wife, who is also Smith's fiancee. Authorities said a gun was recovered from beside Soto's body in addition to the officer's weapon.
The off-duty officer was at the gas station to witness his fiancee picking up her 4-year-old daughter from and her ex-husband Sunday night, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation spokesman Josh DeVine said.
The ex-husband, Luis Philipe Soto and the officer got into an altercation. The situation escalated, and the officer shot Soto, 29, DeVine said. Investigators found what they believe to be Soto's gun near his body, but they were still working to determine if he fired it during the struggle, DeVine said.
It was not immediately clear where exactly the child was during the shooting, but she was present, DeVine said.
"It's our understanding that the child may have been turned away from this incident, so she may not have necessarily witnessed this shooting," DeVine said.
The officer's name and race were not released by the Memphis Police Department or the bureau. Soto was Hispanic.
DeVine said the investigation was in its early stages and many details of the shooting were still unknown, including whether the officer used his service weapon and what sparked the altercation.