An Arkansas cop was killed when the driver of a Jeep ran him over as the suspect was attempting to make a getaway from police for a separate crime, reports said.
Pea Ridge Police Officer Kevin Apple was walking toward the Jeep to speak with its passengers on Saturday when the driver allegedly hit the gas, crashed into Apple’s police patrol car and rammed the officer, The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported.
Police from another department had been looking for the car in connection with “a property crime,” KHBS/KHOG reported. Apple and another officer pulled their police vehicles on either side of the stopped Jeep before they approached it, the Democrat-Gazette said.
The other officer opened fire on the fleeing vehicle, the newspaper said. Apple may have also fired his weapon before he was killed, KNWA/KFTA reported.
Police later caught up with the Jeep in nearby Bella Vista and arrested Shawna Rhae Cash, 22, and Elijah Anadloza, 18. Police didn’t say who was driving, but it seemed to be Cash as she was slapped with reckless driving and suspended or revoked driver license charges, the Associated Press reported.
Apple’s police patrol vehicle has been parked in front of the station as a memorial to the slain officer, KHBS/KHOG said. Video showed flowers and flags placed on top of the vehicle, body damage visible.
He had 23 years in law enforcement and spent the last three with the Pea Ridge department, the Benton County Sheriff’s Office said on Facebook.
Both occupants of the Jeep are now facing capital murder charges.
The Pea Ridge Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #88 posted a tribute to Apple on Facebook.
“Our hearts are filled with sorrow and despair from the loss of our brother,” the post said. “Kevin was so important to us and will forever be missed.”
Gov. Asa Hutchinson wrote on Twitter on Saturday that he’d ordered all flags to be lowered to half-staff in honor of Apple.
“I am deeply saddened to hear of the loss of Pea Ridge police officer Kevin Apple,” Hutchinson said. “My prayers are with Officer Apple’s family and the entire Pea Ridge community during this time. I have ordered flags to be flown at half-staff in tribute to Officer Apple.”
With Post wires