Arkansas Police Officer Killed, Suspect Arrested
Helena-West Helena: An Arkansas police officer was killed in the line of duty on Thursday evening while attempting to apprehend an assault suspect. An intense manhunt ensued for the suspect, who was identified as Latarius Howard, 29. Both Howard and another man, Bruce Hillie, 24, were arrested shortly before 6:30 a.m. in Mississippi.
— Janice Broach (@JBroachWMC) November 13, 2020
Suspect Latarius Howard also goes by the name of L.T.Truitt. He was arrested in Shaw, MS, and charged with 1st Degree Murder of a Police Officer. Hillie was arrested in Indianola, MS and charged with hindering apprehension.
The Arkansas police officer stopped an SUV by blocking the car with his patrol vehicle. Howard exited the vehicle while firing his weapon. The officer did return fire, but was fatally shot by the suspect.
Arkansas Police Officer Travis Wallace, 41, had been on the Helena-West Helena police department for just 5 years. He is survived by his 10 year old son. Media reports say he was loved by many for his tireless service to the community.
“Officer Wallace and other local police officers had been looking for Howard who was wanted on charges stemming from a shooting incident in Helena-West Helena,” which is located approximately 100 miles east of Little Rock, Ark. The Nov. 1 assault and shooting wounded a man.
Wallace spotted Howard shortly after 6:10 p.m. Thursday and used his own patrol to block Howard’s vehicle from exiting a motel parking lot, police said.
“Howard exited the vehicle and reportedly began advancing on the officer while firing a gun,” state police said. “Officer Wallace returned fire, however, there has been no report that Howard was injured. After wounding Officer Wallace, Howard and the driver, believed to be Hillie, then fled from the crime scene.”
Wallace was rushed to an area hospital but could not be saved.”
“We face a new day with the knowledge that another Arkansas officer was senselessly taken from us in the line of duty. It is intolerable. This officer was seeking justice for a shooting victim when he was shot and killed. I am heartbroken for the family of the officer, the community, and the Helena-West Helena Police Department who lost one of their own.Our officers and their families should not have to fear this type of loss, yet it is one that is increasingly more real to the law enforcement community. I am praying for those grieving and for the killer to be brought to swift justice.”