MARION, Ark. — The 16-year-old shot and killed by Marion police has been identified by state troopers as Aries Clark.
Arkansas State Police are investigating whether the Marion police officer was justified in shooting him Tuesday night outside the East Arkansas Youth Services building. It’s located on Cypress Avenue near the Crittenden County Courthouse.
“Somebody made a Facebook status and they were like, ‘A crazy shooting, I’m really sad that had to happen’ and how it was really sad when they saw it, but I didn’t see it personally,” said Sky Scott, who lives near where the shooting took place.
Scott says she was at work when she heard the news.
She says people have been posting about the teen on social media all day.
“A lot of people actually talked about how funny he used to be, and I just really wish prayers to his family,” she said.
State troopers say Marion police responded to the youth facility around 7 p.m., and shots were fired soon after.
Police aren’t yet saying why they were called to the facility in the first place.
“To hear about this as close to home as it is, I’m shocked,” said Kristen Harrington, who lives nearby. “I’m so saddened to hear that. I’m a mom, I have a 10-year-old. This is just absolutely devastating.”
The facility is for delinquent and at-risk youth.
A facility worker’s friend told WREG Clark previously used their services.
The facility director would only say he wasn’t a current resident at the time of the shooting and wouldn’t elaborate on Clark’s history or connection to the facility.
The facility released a statement that says in part, “We cannot speculate or comment on the specifics at this time as the investigation is ongoing” and said they’re fully cooperating with investigators.
Some neighbors say this brings security concerns.
“That facility, it ain’t gated in," said Andrew Richmond, who lives nearby. “I was just stunned because that little boy, they be out there playing all the time, basketball, you’d ride through and see them.”
Richmond says he saw a Facebook video that caught the shooting from a distance.
“You hear them gunshots real clear.”
He says he also was in the area when the shots were fired.
“We were just riding and I just heard a bunch of gunshots, that’s all I heard, a bunch of gunshots," he said. “I hate that, any mother or father loses a child, there’s a lot going on out here."
A lieutenant with the Marion Police Department said they’re waiting to release the name of the officer in question. It’s not clear yet when that will be made public.
The police chief said the two officers involved are on paid administrative leave pending an investigation.