Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Special Agent De’Greaun Frazier was shot to death Tuesday afternoon in Jackson, marking the first line-of-duty death for the agency.
Frazier, 35, joined the TBI in February after working as an officer with the Millington Police Department.
TBI Director Mark Gywn said Frazier was shot while working with Jackson-Madison County Metro Narcotics on an undercover drug operation on Brianfield Cove about 2 p.m.
Frazier was in a car with an informant and another man conducting an undercover drug purchase. The other man, who was sitting in the back seat, pulled a gun and tried to rob Frazier and the informant, who were in the front seat, TBI spokesman Josh DeVine said. The gunman fired once, striking the TBI agent.
The TBI said the gunman was captured on Tinker Hill Cove, less than a half-mile from the shooting scene. His name has not been released.
Frazier was pronounced dead at Jackson-Madison County General Hospital.
“This has been one of the toughest days in our agency’s history,” DeVine said in a press conference at the Jackson Police Department.
Gwyn said Frazier lived in Shelby County, but was working with Jackson police.
Frazier was a father and husband, Gwyn said.
“To say that we are devastated by today’s events is an understatement,” Gwyn said. “We are a family at the TBI, so the loss of this agent in the line of duty hits all of us from Memphis to Mountain City.”
Gwyn said Frazier was “exactly what we look for in a TBI agent: hardworking, enthusiastic and dedicated to making Tennessee a better place to live. We are deeply saddened by his death and will work aggressively to investigate this case to the fullest. His commitment to our agency and the public will not be forgotten.”
Asked about possible charges, the director said: “Obviously, murder,” and added the TBI will consult with the district attorney about further charges.
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Millington Public Safety Director Gary Graves said Tuesday evening that Frazier worked for that department from February 2010 until six months ago. He was assigned to several divisions, including investigations and as a dog handler. He also served with the Drug Enforcement Administration Task Force.
“This is very, very rough,” Graves said. “With all of the police shootings that have gone on, it affects the officers. But this one was close to home.”
State Sen. Mark Norris, R-Collierville, said he was briefed on the incident before the TBI press conference.
“We mourn this terrible loss,” Norris said in a statement. “West Tennessee has lost one of her own. Agent Frazier gave his life in the line of duty doing what our crime fighters do every day — risking their lives to keep us safe. He has not died in vain. The war on drugs continues, and we will redouble our efforts to win.”
Gwyn said Frazier’s death is an example of the danger that officers face daily.
“Every day, law enforcement officers in our state put their lives on the line. All we want is to make this state a better place to live,” Gwyn said. “Agent Frazier’s death will be our rallying point. Tonight, we ask all the citizens of Tennessee to join with us in holding Agent Frazier’s family in your thoughts and in your prayers.”
Gwyn said the operation was no different from ones the TBI conducts daily.
“I have agents all across this state every day doing what Agent Frazier was doing,” he said. “All you can do is pray they go home safely.
“Today, that prayer wasn’t answered, unfortunately.”