LITTLE ROCK (AGFC) – The National Rifle Association last week recognized Wildlife Officer Michael K. Neal of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission as NRA's 2010 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year. Neal will receive the award during the group's fall meeting in Virginia.
Neal was named officer of the year for his heroic actions May 20, 2010, when he received a call for assistance after West Memphis Police Department officers Brandon Paudert and Bill Evans were killed during a traffic stop on Interstate 40.
When Neal arrived at a West Memphis parking lot, the two suspects in the officers' deaths were in a van and engaged in a firefight with Crittenden County Sheriff Dick Busby and Chief Deputy W.A. Wren. When Neal rammed the van with his vehicle, the suspects directed fire toward his truck and away from Busby and Wren, both of whom were wounded.
Neal returned fire, disabling one and possibly both suspects before placing his truck in reverse and backing out of the line of fire. His actions saved the lives of Busby and Wren. Neal sustained shrapnel wounds during the incident.