Robbery suspect dead after police chase and shooting in West Memphis

WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. — A robbery suspect is dead after officers shot him at the tail-end of a pursuit Monday evening, the West Memphis Police Department confirmed.

The suspect, who is believed to have stolen from a Walmart, crashed a black Nissan into a fuel tanker on I-40 near mile-marker 280 around 5 p.m. while fleeing officers.

Police said officers fired at the suspect at one point, but it isn't clear if the suspect died from gunshots or from the crash.

“As I followed the cars up ahead, it looks like that the cops had spun him out on the interstate," said Blake Walpole, who saw officers pursuing the suspect onto I-40.

Walpole said the suspect began driving the wrong way, weaving in and out of oncoming traffic before striking a fuel tanker on the shoulder.

Police told WREG the suspect had attempted to run over officers.

“As the chase was in pursuit, he tried to go on the shoulder of the interstate next to an 18-wheeler and crashed straight into the side of this 18-wheeler," said Walpole.

“There was a very loud noise, vibration in my vehicle from the crash.”

Although police say they opened fire on the suspect, Walpole said he left before he heard any gunshots.

"The last thing I saw was the officer running up to the vehicle with his pistol ready," he said.

Arkansas State Police are handling the case.

The Arkansas Department of Transportation says all eastbound lanes on I-40 have been closed due to due the active crime scene.

This is an ongoing investigation.

We will update you as more information becomes available.