FORREST CITY, Ark. — A detective is still in critical condition and a Lieutenant is at home recovering after a man opened fire inside a Forrest City Walmart on Monday morning.
Investigators say Bobby Gibbs walked into the store, making threats and started shooting at police when they arrived. Detective Eugene Watlington and Lieutenant Eric Varner fired back and killed him.
Both Watlington and Varner were injured but Watlington is still at the Regional Medical Center.
The store is still closed but residents are still in disbelief something like this would happen in their small town.
“This is a tragic time in history of Forrest City,” Senior Pastor at Ridgewood Baptist Church Jim Whaley said. “It will go down in history as a very tragic time.”
Whaley says Watlington’s brother is a member of the church and works at with the sheriff’s office.
“It was kind of gut-wrenching to realize we’re that close. Both Detective Watlington and Lieutenant Varner have been here, so I’m very familiar with those two gentleman,” he said.
A community prayer will be held at the Ridgewood Baptist Church on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.
“We just saw a lot of hurting folks,” Whaley said. “Especially with the connection with the Watlingtons and we want to be able to provide a source of comfort, relief, a mechanism of prayer that we could all come together.”
Walmart has not said when the store will be reopening.