WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. — West Memphis Police have released dash-cam video showing the attempted murder of a police officer. A jury convicted and sentenced the shooter to 152 years in prison Friday.
Jaylen Farmer was convicted of one count of attempted murder, 16 counts of unlawful discharge of a firearm from a vehicle, one count of fleeing and 18 counts of using a firearm in the commission of a felony. Police said he fired from the backseat of a car driven by a juvenile.
According to authorities, the officer recognized the unique gold car with a black bumper and saw the passengers were not wearing seatbelts. He pulled into a gas station to wait for the men to come out.
"The car and person in the car had been associated with known gang activity and known violent activity,” Capt. Joe Baker with West Memphis Police said.
When the officer turned on his blue lights to pull the car over, the 21-year-old leaned out of the window with an AK47 and began firing shots. One pierced the cruiser's windshield, embedding into the passenger seat just a mere foot from the officer.
While the officer’s patrol car was struck, the officer was not injured and continued to follow the vehicle. The driver wrecked the car and Farmer ran away on foot.
He was taken into custody shortly after the incident.
"That could have hit anybody. My 12-year-old son is here. We don't want anything to happen to our kids," neighbor Jonathan Stanley said.
Second Judicial Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington said that he hoped this verdict and sentence "sends a strong message to those who have no regard for the safety or lives of those who live and work in our community" and that "violence against those who protect us will not be tolerated." Ellington also thanked Deputy Prosecutors Tom Young and Matthew Coe for the work they did on the case.
Young added, "Our community is sick of gun violence perpetuated by gangs, and the jury clearly agreed."
Young also thanked the West Memphis Police Department for their work on the case.
Prosecutors said the juvenile driver also faced charges. They dropped any charges against passenger Vondre McClure. Police said McClure had no idea there was a gun in the vehicle.