Officer Murdered, Second Officer Down: Gun Battle Erupts

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Officer murdered in gun battle

Two Pine Bluff police officers have been shot in Arkansas after a gun battle at a local hotel. One officer died from his injuries, and the other is listed in stable condition.

Pine Bluff police officers were called to an Econolodge about 40 miles southeast of Little Rock, Arkansas. According to Police Chief Kelvin Sergeant, officers exchanged gunfire with a suspect at the hotel after they arrived to conduct an investigation.

“During the exchange of gunfire, we had two officers that were struck. One officer was fatally wounded. One officer is right now being held at the hospital -he’s in stable condition. And then we have one officer that did not sustain any injuries,” Sergeant said.

Three officers were at the scene of the gun fight: Kevin Collins, who died from his injuries, Lieutenant Ralph Isaac, who was injured, and a third unidentified officer, who was unharmed during the incident.

Alexis Wainwright, a local reporter, tweeted about the gun fight which left Officer Collins dead, saying that ATF, state police, and other agencies are still at the scene investigating:

Both Officer Collins and Lieutenant Isaac, a twenty-year veteran of the agency, were assigned to the agency’s Violent Crimes Unit.

“We’re hurting. We have lost a family member today,” Sergeant said.

Speaking about Collins’ death, Sergeant added: “I can tell you, at his heart, being a police officer is what Kevin wanted to do.”

“I remember…he always had the desire to be a Pine Bluff police officer. And he got his opportunity on June 8, 2015. And I will say when he raised his hand and swore to do his job, he became an excellent police officer for the Pine Bluff Police Department. This young man, once assigned to the Violent Crimes Unit, would work day in and day out to come out and try to arrest individuals that were involved in violent crimes within our community,” Sergeant continued.

According to the Pine Bluff Commercial, a local newspaper, Officer Collins was a community favorite. As reported by the paper, Collins spent time as a mentor for at-risk youth through the agency’s Youth Empowerment Camp. He also received the Officer of the Year award in 2017 for saving a 95 year old man from an apartment fire.

When he received the award, Collins told the Pine Bluff Commercial:

“I always wanted to be a police officer. Ever since I was little. I saw law enforcement as a service and something I could be proud of… When I took on the challenge of being a police officer, someone extended a lifeline to me. Some of those lines I pulled on are in this room tonight and I truly thank you. As I was pushed into my purpose as a police officer it was either sink or swim. Thank God I chose to swim, so it seems second nature to me and my fellow officers to extend the life line to save others.”

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