PEA RIDGE, Ark. (AP) — A northwest Arkansas police officer was killed when he was struck by a vehicle in a convenience store parking lot and two people are in custody, according to police.
Pea Ridge officer Kevin Apple died Saturday after being struck by the vehicle that matched the description of a vehicle sought by police, according to police Lt. Michael Lisenbee.
The vehicle was parked at gas pumps at the store about 155 miles (249 kilometers) northwest of Little Rock, when Apple and another officer approached it to speak to the occupants, Lisenbee said.
“As a result of the contact the officers were attempting to make with that vehicle, an altercation erupted,” Lisenbee said.
The driver of the vehicle rammed into a patrol car and left the scene, striking and killing Apple, according to Lisenbee. No other injuries were reported.
Lisenbee declined to say why the vehicle was being sought, citing the ongoing investigation.
Police later found the vehicle in Bella Vista, about 9 miles (14 kilometers) west of Pea Ridge, and arrested Shawna Cash, 22, of Pine Bluff, and Elijah Andazola, 18, of Bella Vista, on warrants including capital murder or attempted capital murder and fleeing.
Police did not say which suspect is believed to have been the driver, although preliminary charges against Cash include driving with a suspended or revoked license and reckless driving.
Both are jailed without bond and jail records do not list attorneys who could speak on their behalf.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson ordered flags in the state to fly at half-staff until Apple’s burial.
“My prayers are with Officer Apple’s family and the entire Pea Ridge community during this time,” Hutchinson said in a written statement.