2 charged in death of Arkansas police officer
PEA RIDGE, Ark. – Prosecutors charge two people for the death of an Arkansas police officer.
On June 26, 2021, Rogers Police alerted the Pea Ridge Police Department about a blue SUV suspected of felony fleeing and felony theft.
A bit later, Officers Kevin Apple and Brian Stamps saw a vehicle matching the description.
According to court documents, camera footage shows the suspect vehicle parked at the White Oak Gas Station gas pumps. Officer Apple pulled his patrol car up in front of the suspect vehicle, facing it directly. At the same time, Officer Stamps drove his patrol car directly behind the suspect vehicle.
The officers tried to contact the occupants, but an altercation erupted.
Investigators, looking at the footage, say it appears that Officer Apple got out of his vehicle and tried to verbally engage with the suspects.
The driver then went backwards, hitting one patrol car.
Apple drew his gun and went to the front of the suspect vehicle. The suspect then drove straight forward, pinning Officer Apple between two vehicles killing him. Officer Apple was also drug nearly 150 feet by the vehicle, according to an affidavit.
The vehicle fled, leading a chase to Bella Vista where it crashed. Authorities arrested 22-year-old Shawna Cash of Pine Bluff, who was driving. The passenger, 18-year-old Elijah Andazola, of Bella Vista, took off. Police later found him in a camper trailer.
Prosecutors charged both suspects with capital murder. The jail is holding both without bond. Cash is also facing several other charges.
An affidavit following the incident shows police questioning Cash and Andazola about what happened leading up to Officer Apple’s death. Neither took responsibility for the fatal crash. Andazola said Cash was driving and that he was in shock after the vehicle struck Officer Apple, and Cash said she was just doing what she was told to do and that she tends to “blackout” during stressful situations.
Organizers held a candlelight vigil Saturday night, and a procession for Officer Apple was took place Sunday morning. Gov. Asa Hutchinson has requested the United States flag and the state flag of Arkansas to fly at half-staff in tribute of Officer Apple until his internment.
You can read the full affidavit court document below, or, click here.
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