Pea Ridge, AR – Pea Ridge Police Officer Kevin Apple was killed on Saturday when he was run over and dragged by a vehicle that had already fled police from another jurisdiction.
The incident began at about 11:30 a.m. on June 26 when Officer Apple and Pea Ridge Police Officer Brian Stamps were told to be on the lookout for an older model blue Jeep that had run from Rogers police, the Arkansas Democrat Gazette reported.
Pea Ridge Police Lieutenant Michael Lisenbee said Officers Apple and Stamps spotted the suspect vehicle at a gas station at the intersection of Slack Street and North Curtis Avenue in White Oak at about 12:09 p.m.
Lt. Lisenbee said the Jeep was parked at the gas pumps and the officers pulled their police vehicles up on either side of the SUV, the Arkansas Democrat Gazette reported.
He said that when the officers approached the Jeep and tried to talk to the people inside, the driver rammed a police vehicle and then ran over Officer Apple, dragging him, before fleeing the scene.
Officer Stamps opened fire on the fleeing vehicle, the Arkansas Democrat Gazette reported.
Rogers police, Little Flock police, Bella Vista police, and Benton County sheriff’s deputies converged on the scene when the “officer down” call went out.
Benton County Sheriff Shawn Holloway said multiple law enforcement agencies joined in the pursuit of the Jeep that had just run over Officer Apple, the Arkansas Democrat Gazette reported.
“The suspects were apprehended in Bella Vista,” Lt. Lisenbee said.
Police arrested 22-year-old Shawna Rhae Cash and 18-year-old Elijah Anadoloza Sr. for the murder of Officer Apple, the Arkansas Democrat Gazette reported.
They were booked into the Benton County jail and held on charges of capital murder or attempted capital murder.
Court records showed that Cash was on probation for other crimes when she allegedly ran over Officer Apple, the Arkansas Democrat Gazette reported.
Records showed she pleaded guilty to drug possession in December of 2018 in Washington County Circuit Court and in January of 2019 in Benton County Circuit Court and was sentenced to 36 months and 72 months, respectively, of supervised probation.
Cash pleaded to burglary and theft of property in Benton County again later in 2019 and got 96 months of probation, according to the Arkansas Democrat Gazette.
She was arrested again in Benton County in December for drug possession and then a warrant for her arrest was issued in September of 2020 after she failed to show up for court on that charge.
In January of 2020, Cash was charged with theft of property and credit card fraud in Washington County, the Arkansas Democrat Gazette reported.
She was charged again in Washington County this February with theft by receiving.
“Our department is in shock right now. We’re a home town. Everyone in our Police Department are family,” Lt. Lisenbee told reporters.
Pea Ridge Police Chief Lynn Hahn said the Benton County Sheriff’s Office would head up the investigation into Officer Apple’s murder, the Arkansas Democrat Gazette reported.
Sheriff Holloway said Benton County sheriff’s deputies would be responding to calls in Pea Ridge for the time being to allow officers time to grieve and support Officer Apple’s family.
The sheriff said Officer Apple was a three-year veteran of the Pea Ridge Police Department, but he had served 20 years in law enforcement at other northwest Arkansas police agencies including the Lowell Police Department and the Farmington Police Department, the Arkansas Democrat Gazette reported.
“He certainly has honored his community by sacrificing his own life in their service,” Benton County Prosecuting Attorney Nathan Smith told reporters. “We want to honor him.”
Community leaders cancelled the city’s parade and Freedom Fest that were taking place this weekend, the Arkansas Democrat Gazette reported.
“Our officers don’t need to be handling the festival right now,” Edwin Brewer, festival organizer and owner of USA Fireworks, said. “We’re canceling the festival in respect for them.”
In place of the festival, the community held a candlelight vigil on Saturday night to honor the fallen officer, the Arkansas Democrat Gazette reported.
— Will Moclair (@WillMoclairTV) June 27, 2021
CROWD GATHERING: The Pea Ridge community is holding a candlelight vigil for Officer Kevin Apple. Live reports tonight at 9 and 10. pic.twitter.com/FeX82d7jjP
— Brandon Evans (@4029Brandon) June 27, 2021
Our entire NLRPD family would like to extend our thoughts & prayers to the family of Officer Kevin Apple of the Pea Ridge, AR Police Department. Officer Apple was killed in the line of duty today. Pls keep his fellow officers, friends & the Pea Ridge community in your prayers. pic.twitter.com/uZeANFd9O5
— North Little Rock PD (@NLRPD) June 27, 2021
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Officer Kevin Apple’s family and the entire Pea Ridge community. Rest In Peace. pic.twitter.com/jalrdONlSm
— Little Rock Police (@LRpolice) June 27, 2021
— Cassandra Webb (@cassandrawebbtv) June 27, 2021
Pea Ridge Police Officer Kevin Apple was transported from Bentonville to the state crime lab in Little Rock. Local law enforcement agencies from around the state showed their support, lining the road for the man who gave his life yesterday in the line of duty. @CityofPeaRidge pic.twitter.com/HLsOGkFHHE
— Benton County AR (@BentonCoAR) June 27, 2021
Governor @AsaHutchinson ordered the U.S. flag and state flag to fly at half-staff in tribute to the memory of Pea Ridge Officer Kevin Apple. Flags are to remain at half-staff until the day of interment.
Officer Apple was killed in the line of duty June 26, 2021. pic.twitter.com/IGVIPBzNn2
— 77thArkansasAviation (@77thArkansas) June 27, 2021
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Pea Ridge Police Officer Kevin Apple, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Officer Kevin Apple, your life mattered.