HELENA-WEST HELENA, Ark. — This small Arkansas town is on edge because of a string of terrifying shootings, and some are saying Helena-West Helena has never been this dangerous.
The town of roughly 12,000 people has been seeing the kind of violence you’d get in a big city, with at least four shootings in one week, including one Sunday, when a one-year-old child was hurt.
“It’s awful,” said Maureen Jones, who owns a kids’ clothing shop in town. “It doesn’t reflect well on the city.”
She’s lived here 36 years and says things have never been this bad.
Last Tuesday, a 23-year-old was allegedly ambushed while walking on Porter Street.
Stray bullets went flying through the neighborhood, terrifying a mom and her two kids in a home nearby.
“We got down on the ground and kind of crawled in the hallway,” she said.
The 23-year-old was grazed by a bullet. Then, rescued after running down the street and falling in this ditch.
Police believe that shooting was revenge for a deadly gas station shooting on Colombia earlier in the day.
Surveillance video shows two people fire into a parked car. A man was killed, his juvenile passenger able to escape seconds later.
One man was arrested in connection to the shooting but two others are still out there.
Jones is confident they’ll be caught, and has faith in the town’s police chief, James Smith, who she says has been “wonderful.” She thinks the recent violence is gang related.
We called the police chief to ask him about all this recent violence, but we have not heard back.