by Max Brantley
Separate reports today of unexplained gunfire led to an eventually uneventful capture of a suspect in an apartment near Children's Hospital around midday Wednesday. No one was hurt. Among the incidents:
* Shots were fired into offices at the Metropolitan Bank tower at Capitol and Broadway, time unknown, but apparently before working hours.
* Also, Children's Hospital employees were moved away from windows at one of the buildings in the hospital complex near Daisy Bates Drive and Wolfe while police swarmed an apartment building nearby. The potential for gunshots, with an unclear target, was reportedly the cause of the excitement. It's unclear whether any shots were fired in the area of Children's or whether the precautions related to police suspicion that the suspect was involved in an earlier shooting in Sherwood as well as the shots fired downtown.
After SWAT officers and many others surrounded the apartment, police took the suspect into custody, apparently without incident, around noon. Children's Hospital employees who'd been placed on security alert were notified the episode had been resolved.
This alert was sent earlier in the morning to Children's employees:
Dennis Developmental Center Being Evacuated
LRPD and ACH Security are in the process of evacuating all patients, visitors and employees of the Dennis Developmental Center. They are being relocated to the ACH Fitness Center in East Campus. The rest of the building is in the process of evacuation as well. According to Jamie Holt, the suspect is barricaded in his apartment. LRPD reports that they will first bring in a negotiator. LRPD SWAT team is now on campus and on standby at Daisy Bates and Children’s Way awaiting further instructions. Again, out of interest for all employees’ safety, we urge everyone to stay away from the Dennis Developmental Center. We will keep you posted as the situation develops.
Later, police spokesperson Sgt. Cassandra Davis said the suspect in the shootings had barricaded himself into an apartment at 1200 Marshall Street near Children's Hospital and refused to come out. He held no hostages, but a pediatric clinic attached to the complex was evacuated. SWAT and police negotiators responded.
Davis said the LRPD received a call just after 6:40 a.m. saying that windows had been shot out of the Metropolitan Tower at 425 W. Capitol. Police believe the shooting there was connected to a number of other shootings in the area. Davis said no one was reported as injured in any of the shootings, but details weren't readily available. Davis said police went to an apartment complex on Marshall Street and made contact with the suspect. SWAT was called in soon after. Radio traffic indicated the police had warrants for the suspect.
Sherwood said it was seeking Devin Sheppard (pictured) in a drive-by shooting early Wednesday. It said he was in custody of Little Rock police on "separate matters." It later developed that the Little Rock suspsect and Sherwood suspect were the same.
In Sherwood, he allegedly shot up a red Nissan and drove away. A relative said he'd been acting erratically.
SHERWOOD PD RELEASE
At approx 6:22 AM on November 17, 2010, Sherwood Police responded to a shots fired call in the area of Ridgewell Rd and Oakleaf Ln. Officers located spent casings on the ground next to a red Nissan car parked at 36 Ridgewell. Officers noted three bullet holes in the hood and one in the bumper of the Nissan. Witnesses stated that a white Chevy Suburban was seen in the area at the time of the shooting.
Contact was made with the vehicle owner, Jollie Stuart. Mr. Stuart stated that his nephew, Devinn Sheppard of NLR, (B/M, 26 yoa) had been exhibiting unusual behavior lately and suspected he had fired the shots at the vehicle. Mr. Stuart also stated that Sheppard also drove a white Suburban.
Detectives are conducting an investigation into the incident. At this time no arrests have been made nor any charges filed against any individual.
Currently, Devinn Sheppard is in the custody of the LRPD on separate matters. Sherwood Detectives are in contact with LRPD and will schedule an interview with Sheppard later today.