Mother of three killed by estranged boyfriend, Helena-West Helena Police say

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Helena-West Helena, Ark. — Three children are motherless, after she was gunned down by her estranged boyfriend.

Helena-West Helena Police said 20-year-old Ashley Vineyard was shot and killed on Saturday in the parking lot of AJ’s Grocery. They said she was shot by 21-year-old Stanley Blocker Jr.

In surveillance video, Vineyard is talking with people before entering the convenience store. HWH police said not long after that, she was shot and killed.

James Smith, HWH Police Chief, said the two had a history of domestic violence.

“This has been an ongoing issue with both of them there were several reports, with the HWH Police Department related to domestic violence issues,” Smith said. “The surveillance footage shows that it appears that Ms. Vineyard may have had a weapon, but when officers and investigators arrived on the scene there was no weapon that was actually found.”

HWH Police have charged blocker with first degree murder among other charges. But Chief James Smith said the investigation is far from over.

Additionally, police are now actively looking for whoever may have taken a weapon from the crime scene. Chief Smith said this tragedy could have been avoided, if both Vineyard and Blocker had gone through the court process, but they did not.

“There were no restraining orders due to the fact both individuals would never go back to the courts to make sure there was a proper documentation was filed for Ex Parte order or an order of protection, as well,” Smith said.

While October is domestic violence awareness month, but Chief Smith said his officers have seen a 45 percent increase in domestic violence since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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