Earlier Thursday morning, April 12 at 1:03am, the Helena – West Helena Police were dispatched to location of 121 North 9th Street in West Helena. The call initially went out as an Unwanted Person. When officers arrived on the scene there was a 39 year-old male subject assaulting a female, 20 years of age with a knife.
As officers approached him, he then started to attack a 61 year-old female who resided at that location with the knife. The 61 year-old woman was later determined to be the subjects mother. When asked by the officer, a 5-year veteran employee of the HWHPD, to drop the weapon, the subject refused to drop it. He approached the officer as if he was about to attack him. The officer fired shots on the scene, afterwards the suspect was apprehended, but expired later at the scene.
The female who was 20 years of age, is believed to be a relative, also expired at the scene. The elderly lady who is 61 years of age and is the home owner of the residence, was transported to Helena Regional Medical Center, and later airlifted to Regional 1 in Memphis where she is in stable but critical condition following surgery.
At the time of Chief Smith’s statement, they were not releasing any names. The Arkansas State Police Department was called in, and HWHPD turned the investigation over to them. The officer involved was relieved of duty with pay pending the outcome of the investigation, which is normal procedure.
We are not releasing any information due to death notification to the families. Chief Smith would also like to thank the Sheriff Department for assisting along with the Arkansas State Police. HWHPD had two officers, cadets, that made the scene as well and were trying to render aid to both the suspect and the 20 year old victim; however it was too late as both had succumbed to their injuries on the scene.
There was a minor at the scene who was physically unharmed.