Arkansas city mayor speaks out against gun violence after officer’s shooting death


HELENA-WEST HELENA, Ark. — An Arkansas community is coming together after a shooting leaves an officer dead.

Helena-West Helena Police officer Travis Wallace was gunned down while on-duty. The suspect, Latarius Howard, now faces capital murder charges.

Howard and his accused accomplice Bruce Hillie were both captured this morning in Mississippi, where they await extradition.

“He [Wallace] was stellar. He’s the kind of officer we wanted our new recruits to look up to and emulate,” said Mayor Kevin Smith. “We spoke several times about changes we were trying to do in our police department, and we’re going to miss our brother.”

Smith says Wallace leaves behind a young son.

“He has a lot of fathers here and we’re going to try to be here for him and his mother,” Smith said.

Smith says this act of violence comes after a dangerous year in Helena-West Helena. He says he hopes Wallace’s murder will be a wake-up call to every citizen in the community.

“Help us get the guns off the streets. Get criminals off the street,” Smith said. “That they hold all the leaders accountable in the criminal justice system not just the police department.”

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