Residents in Earle growing frustrated after young man is killed by gun violence

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EARLE, Ark. — One Mid-South community continues to be plagued by gun violence which left another young man dead, and community members are frustrated.

This small town of less than 3,000 residents are haunted by gun violence. It is a trend it can’t seem to shake.

“Sometimes it gets quiet, but it never goes away. It just settles down for a moment and then picks right back up,” Pastor Otis Davis, First Baptist Church in Earle.

The latest incident happened on Friday when two men were shot, and one was killed outside a grocery store. Earle’s Police Chief took a new job just weeks ago, and the town is still searching for a replacement.

While the Crittenden County Sheriff’s office is located around 20 miles away, it puts law enforcement in a tough position.

“In this particular case, we’re trying our best to help the Earle police department and the city of Earle get what they’ve got under control,” said Chief Todd Grooms, Crittenden County Sheriff’s Office.

Davis added, “It’s not per se, unprotected at night, but there’s a difference. If there’s something that carries on over here, we have to wait 20 minutes before they even get here.”

And yet the Earle community continues to rally, with residents beginning to meet regularly and church leaders reaching out to congregations, to discuss options for keeping the town safe.
They believe the only way to get through this recent rash of gun violence is by working together.

“With everybody involved now, this is what it’s going to take. It’s going to take every single one of us to speak out against what’s going on,” Davis said.

So far, the Crittenden County Sheriff’s office has not released any suspect information in last Friday’s shooting.

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