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Details released in July 4 shooting fatality at Econo Lodge


Grandmother killed, possibly by stray celebratory bullet Following a Freedom of Information Act request by the Evening Times, the West Memphis has released information about a fatal shooting that took place the same weekend as the multiagency Operation Stars and Bars (a joint task force netting two dozen arrests over the Independence Day weekend).

Newly hired West Memphis Police Chief Michael Pope had announced his first department priority was transparency when the city introduced him to the public, but the department was slow to release details of the incident until the FOIA request from the Times regarding a July 4 shots fired call at the Econo Lodge on the South Service Road in which a motel guest was killed.

City Attorney Mike Stephenson ultimately replied with a statement on behalf of the police department. According to the Stephenson, investigators had not ruled the incident a homicide and asked the public for information about the killing.

Speculation is now that some unknown individual or individuals may have been celebrating the Independence Day holiday by firing their guns.

'Upon officer’s arrival they were met with the complainant whom advised that his relative was sitting in the parking lot and then fell over,' said the statement.

'Later investigations would reveal that the victim was struck one time in the head by a bullet. The victim was a current resident at the motel along with her family (her son and his children). Detectives with the West Memphis Police Department responded and processed the crime scene for any available evidence. Detectives are currently working with the Arkansas State Crime Lab to obtain additional information.'

At this time, the West Memphis Police Department is asking anyone with any information on this incident to please contact police at 870-7351210 or the Crittenden County Crime Stoppers at 870-732-4444. All calls will be kept confidential.

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