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Hero Down: Perry County Detention Officer Jeremiah Story Murdered By Gunman Inside Jail

Conway, AR – Perry County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) Detention Officer Jeremiah Story was murdered in the line of duty on June 22 after a suspect being booked into the jail facility fatally shot him, according to police.

The Arkansas State Police (ASP) said the fatal attack occurred inside the Parry County Detention Center at approximately 10:20 p.m. on June 22, the Arkansas Times reported.

PCSO deputies had arrested 37-year-old Roderick Lewis on drug and paraphernalia charges and brought him to the facility to be booked into jail.

Investigators said Detention Officer Story was in a bathroom with Lewis while Lewis was changing out of his street clothes and into his jail-issued clothing when the suspect suddenly pulled out a gun and shot him, the Arkansas Times reported.

An unidentified witness who saw the shooting was able to disarm the suspect, according to the ASP.

Detention Officer Story was rushed to a Conway-area hospital, where he succumbed to his wounds, THV reported.

Investigators determined Lewis was in possession of the firearm when PCSO deputies brought him into the jail facility, the Arkansas Times reported.

Lewis has been charged with capital murder and is being held at the Faulkner County Detention Center.

“Detention Officer Story served our state and our country honorably,” Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said in a statement to THV. “My heart aches for Jeremiah’s family and friends as well as the entire Perry County Sheriff’s Office.”

“Every day, our men and women in blue put on their badge with a desire to pursue justice, no matter the cost. Arkansas is blessed to have dedicated officers who always answer the call to serve their community,” Rutledge continued. “Join me in praying for the family and friends of Detention Officer Story, the Perry County Sheriff’s Office and the entire law enforcement community.”

Family friend Beverly Ussery said Detention Officer Story enlisted in the U.S. Army after graduating from high school in 2018, THV reported.

Ussery said her children grew up with the 21-year-old detention officer.

“His smile was infectious,” she told THV. “When you heard Jeremiah’s name, it was usually in church [and] him helping the youth. Or on the football field helping the younger kids.”

Detention Officer Story leaves behind his parents, stepparents, grandparents, and his siblings, according to his obituary.

He is also survived by his aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces, and cousins.

Detention Officer Story will be laid to rest on June 28.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Perry County Sheriff’s Office Detention Officer Jeremiah Story, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Detention Officer Jeremiah Story, your life mattered.

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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