Man shot by Forrest City police officer; friends say it was misunderstanding

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FORREST CITY, Ark. – Arkansas State Police are conducting a use-of-force investigation after a Forrest City police officer shot and injured a man at an apartment complex last Tuesday.

“All I heard was, ‘Pow, pow,’ so I went to, you know, like, dabbing on ‘em,” said Quinterra Shields.

Police were called to the Delta Pointe Apartments after a man claimed 23-year-old Mekiyel Harris and two other men had locked him out of his apartment.

Police told the Times-Herald newspaper that 23-year-old Mekiyel Harris pointed a gun at an officer and that the officer fired, striking Harris in the arm.

“They said they shot first and the police did what they have to do and shoot back,” said Shields.

But friends of Harris say it was all a misunderstanding and that he and the other men were merely trying to escape from officers by shooting through a window so they could jump.

“They was trying to get out the building through the window, and when the police heard the shot, that’s where all the shooting come from, but they wasn’t shooting at the police,” said one woman, who didn’t want to be identified.

A man named Jermaine, who identified himself as Harris’ cousin, said he’s never known Harris to carry a gun and said he doesn’t believe Harris would ever shoot at officers.

“He’s a good dude. I’ve never heard of him getting in trouble,” said Jermaine.

WREG has heard and even reported on Harris getting in trouble in past.

In 2012, he and another man were arrested for marijuana possession with purpose to distribute.

In 2015, we told you how he and a woman were arrested for smoking marijuana in car with a 2-month-old. Other drugs including cocaine and Xanax were also discovered in his vehicle.

“That was a little drug infection, but that’s nothing. Everybody smoke pot,” said Jermaine.

An investigator with the Forrest City Police Department said the department couldn’t release a police report until its investigation wraps up.