WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. — Two people were killed and a police officer injured following a shooting in West Memphis on Wednesday night.
According to the West Memphis Police Department, it all started at 9:30 p.m. when officers attempted to stop a vehicle occupied by a man and woman. The driver refused to stop, and police chased the suspects more than two miles.
During the incident, police said the driver also rammed several police cars before running over an officer.
Shots were fired near McAuley Drive and 18th Street. The man and woman both died on the scene.
The officer was taken to the Regional Medical Center in non-critical condition. He has since been treated and released.
Police have not released information on what sparked the police chase or the identities of those involved. Neighbors said the two people shot were not from the area.
“We heard the sirens and came outside to see what was going on, and that’s when we saw the blue lights toward us,” said one witness who did not want to be identified. “They tried to block off the car they were chasing, and that’s when he hit the officer and the other two that were on this side shot him.”
West Memphis police say when they finally cornered the car, it ran over an officer — that’s why other officers responded with multiple shots.
But they wouldn’t answer why they were outside their patrol cars in the first place.
Arkansas State Police have taken over the investigation.
“Once the investigative file is complete, it will be turned over to the Prosecuting Attorney to determine if the use of force by a law enforcement officer was constant with Arkansas law,” state police said in a statement.
This is the second officer-involved shooting in West Memphis in the past year.
The incident comes as West Memphis’s new mayor, Marco McClendon, takes office with a new take on crime, emphasizing community-oriented policing.