by Max Brantley
West Memphis Police Officer Brandon Paudert, son of the city's police chief, was killed and another West Memphis officer, Bill Evans died later of wounds in a shootout on Interstate 40 in West Memphis during a traffic stop, the Commercial Appeal is reporting.
Crittenden County Sheriff Dick Busby and his top aide, W.A. Wren, also were seriously wounded in a shootout when the two suspects were cornered at a West Memphis Walmart. The suspects were killed.
A manhunt for a van with the words House of Prayer began after the I-40 shootings. The Commercial Appeal has details.
Fox 16 says the suspects killed the police with bursts from AK-47s.
UPDATE: Strange story about the House of Prayer in Ohio.
Statement from Gov. Mike Beebe:
Just last week, ceremonies across Arkansas were held to remember fallen law-enforcement officers and remind us of the dangers they face on a daily basis. That reminder was tragically reinforced today in Crittenden County. Sergeant Brandon Paudert and Officer Bill Evans died upholding their duty to serve and protect the residents of West Memphis. I have reached out to express my condolences to the entire West Memphis Police Department, including Sergeant Paudert’s father, Chief Bob Paudert.”
“Our thoughts and prayers are also with Crittenden County Sheriff Dick Busby and Chief Deputy W.A. Wren, who both continue to fight for their lives at a Memphis hospital.”
“This is a loss shared by all Arkansans.”