by Max Brantley
The State Police have released details about an episode early this morning in which a 50-year-old man died of a gunshot wound at the end of a three-county police chase that began after report of a shooting in Southwest Little Rock.
The dead man is Raymond Boettcher. He reportedly shot and wounded his former girlfriend in her home on Dreher Lane.
STATE POLICE RELEASE
At approximately 2 AM today (June 23, 2010) Arkansas State Troopers assigned to patrol duties along Interstate 30 observed a Chevrolet El Camino traveling westbound near Baseline Road. The vehicle matched the description of one believed to be driven by an individual wanted in connection with a shooting incident that had occurred earlier on Dreher Lane and being investigated by Little Rock Police.
As State Troopers attempted to stop the vehicle along I-430, the driver sped away and Troopers radioed they were in pursuit traveling northbound on I-430. A short time later, Troopers radioed a report that the driver was firing a gun at them as the pursuit continued across the I-430 bridge.
The pursuit moved onto I-40 westbound with continued reports of the Troopers under fire from the suspect.
At least twice during the pursuit spike strips were deployed in an attempt to stop the vehicle however the driver continued to flee from State Troopers and firing at them as they passed through Faulkner County.
As the pursuit moved into Conway County spike strips were again deployed and successfully deflated the vehicle tires.
As the suspect moved the vehicle off the highway a State Trooper fired at the suspect.
Raymond Boettcher, 50, of Little Rock was pronounced dead at the scene. An examination by the State Crime Laboratory of Boettcher's body will determine whether Boettcher died as the result of a self-inflicted gun shot wound.
No State Troopers were injured during the pursuit.
Arkansas State Trooper Kenneth Cartwright is presently on leave pending a review of the pursuit and shooting. An investigative file will be submitted to the Conway County Prosecuting Attorney.