A shootout in a motel has ended with the death of a police officer in Arkansas, while another of his colleagues suffered injuries.
The Pine Bluff Police Department officers were conducting an investigation into a criminal organization, but when they arrived at the motel, alleged suspects immediately opened fire on them.
Kevin Collins, aged 35, was killed in the shootout, while another officer named Lt. Ralph Issac was wounded. Reports indicate that his injuries are not life-threatening, and he is expected to make a recovery. Another officer, Kelsey Collins, who was present at the scene did not sustain any injuries.
The fate of two people involved in the incident has not been revealed, though reports indicate that two have been wounded in the shootout.
Their injuries are reportedly not threatening, and they will be prosecuted shortly after being discharged from the hospital.
The local community has expressed deep grief over the incident, as the killed officer was apparently well known in the area, and had a positive reputation.
No further developments have been reported around the case. Some have questioned the officers’ approach to the scene, but with so little information available at the moment, it is hard to tell whether they made a wrong call or not.
Some have also expressed relief at the fact that the alleged criminals have been apprehended and have called for harsh justice on them.
It is not known if the case was connected to any other recent incidents in the area, nor what kind of activity the officers were investigating in the first place.
Det. Collins’s funeral took place on Saturday, and an entire community is still in mourning. At least 300 people showed up to say their final goodbyes.
The fallen hero’s cousin, Jimmy Cunningham, said: “You don’t have to go to Wakanda to find black panther you could go right here in Pine Bluff and find Black Panther in the form of detective Kevin Collins. He was that kind of superhero. Two years on the force and he becomes policeman of the year.”
Pine Bluff Police Chief Kelvin Sergeant stated: “He worked day in and day out and you know with Collins his shift never ended.” His badge number will be retired.
19-year-old Keshone Quantarious Smith was arrested and charged with capital murder in the death of the five-year veteran.
Smith is also wanted in Georgia for murder and armed robbery. It is not clear if authorities were after him for a different case. He was denied bail on Sunday.