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Gunman Shoots Arkansas Sheriff, 2 Citizens

Parkin, AR – An Arkansas sheriff and two civilians were shot after a gunman opened fire in two separate attacks on Sunday night.

The incident began shortly before 9 p.m. on April 3, when the Parkin Police Department (PPD) received a report of a shooting at 306 Smithdale Avenue, the Arkansas State Police (ASP) said in a press release on Monday.

When they arrived at the residence, they found 55-year-old Patricia Pepper and 47-year-old Shoron Selvy suffering from gunshot wounds.

Both women were rushed to a Memphis hospital, where Selvy was later pronounced dead.

A witness told police that 20-year-old Darius Kirkwood was seen leaving the house where the shooting occurred shortly before police responded to the scene, according to the ASP.

A Wynne police officer spotted Kirkwood traveling down U.S. Highway 64 towards Wynne a short while later and attempted to pull him over, but the suspect allegedly refused to stop.

Police said Kirkwood “was driving at a high rate of speed and forcing other motorists from the highway” during the ensuing pursuit, according to the press release.

The suspect sped through Wynne and down U.S. Highway 1 towards Forrest City as deputies from the Cross County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) joined the chase, the ASP said.

Police said Kirkwood ultimately turned down a country road and came to a stop at #2 County Road 7011.

Officers ordered Kirkwood to exit the vehicle, but he refused, according to investigators.

“Officers then approached the vehicle in an attempt to forcibly remove Kirkwood, leading to an exchange of gunfire,” the ASP said.

Cross County Sheriff David West was hit by gunfire during the shootout, as was the suspect, according to police.

Kirkwood was pronounced dead at the scene.

Sheriff West was rushed to a Memphis hospital, where he was treated for a non-life-threatening gunshot wound to his arm, WHBQ reported.

The sheriff, who is also a retired ASP trooper, was released from the hospital early Monday, according to WMC.

Pepper remained hospitalized in stable condition on Monday, WATN reported.

Investigators said officers from both the Wynne Police Department and the CCSO discharged their duty weapons during the gun battle, the ASP said.

The ASP is handling the ongoing investigation into the incident.

Investigative findings will be forwarded to the Cross County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, which will determine whether or not the officers’ use of deadly force complied with Arkansas law.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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