Police on Sunday identified a suspect in the fatal shooting of a Memphis police officer, and an intense search for the man was underway.

Tremaine Wilbourn, 29, faces a first-degree murder charge in the death of officer Sean Bolton, 33, on Saturday night, Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong said.

Armstrong gave this account of the shooting: ­Wilbourn was a passenger in a 2002 Mercedes-Benz that was parked illegally in a southeast Memphis neighborhood. Bolton saw the car and shined his squad car's spotlight on the vehicle.

Bolton then got out of his car and walked toward the Mercedes. Wilbourn got out of the Mercedes, confronted Bolton, and they got into a physical struggle.

Wilbourn then took out a gun and fired it, striking Bolton multiple times. The officer died at a hospital.

Police said Wilbourn and the driver then ran away. The driver later turned himself in. He was released without being charged.

Armstrong said Bolton interrupted a drug deal.

"He's a coward," Armstrong said of Wilbourn. "You gunned down, you murdered a police officer, for less than 2 grams of marijuana. You literally destroyed a family."

Associated Press