Prosecutor: Mobile home park shooting justified

Michael Ware (Source: Jonesboro Police Department)
Michael Ware (Source: Jonesboro Police Department)
Meadow View Mobile Home Park on Jan. 9
Meadow View Mobile Home Park on Jan. 9
Police and ambulance at shooting scene on Jan. 9
Police and ambulance at shooting scene on Jan. 9

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington has released documents detailing a shooting at the Meadow View Mobile Home Park earlier this month.

Ellington has deemed the shooting death of Michael Ware, 35, of Keiser by Jonesboro Police Cpl. John Eidson on Jan. 9 as justified.

In a four page letter to Arkansas State Police, Ellington detailed the events leading up to the shooting.

It all began on the morning of Jan. 9 around 5:45 when Jonesboro police took a call about a stolen vehicle on Marchbanks Circle. The victim state he was warming up his truck when he heard it pull away.

The investigation continued when officers received a tip the truck had been parked on Marshall Street later that morning. Officers located the truck and learned a man and a woman abandoned the truck. April Raney and Nick Franklin were identified as the couple.

Another officer then went to the Meadow View Mobile Home Park at 4303 Aggie Road to find Raney. When the officer arrived he found Franklin suffering from a gunshot wound to the chest. Franklin told officers he did not know who shot him. Officers stayed with Franklin until an ambulance arrived.

Police made their way to mobile home number 33 where they had been told Franklin was staying.

Cpl. Eidson made contact with Ware from outside the mobile home. He said he observed Ware had an "agitated" look on his face when Ware was looking at the officer through the window. Ware then opened the door slightly but kept his right hand out of the officer's line of sight.

Concerned for his safety, Eidson pulled out his weapon and asked Ware twice what was in his hand. He received no response.

While Eidson attempted to close the door, Ware raised his gun out of the door and fired near the left side of the officer's head, Ellington stated. Eidson returned fire and took cover near the back door.

Ware then exited the back door, came at the officer with what appeared to be a gun and raised his hand toward the officer. Eidson then fired again and Ware went back into the home.

At the time of the shooting, there were two women, one man and four children inside the home.

The Jonesboro Police Department SWAT Team later entered the home and found Ware dead on the kitchen floor.

Raney, who received an injury to her left arm, told police Franklin and Ware stole the truck that morning. She also told investigators Franklin wanted to return the truck which started an argument leading to Ware shooting Franklin.

Ellington stated Franklin received non-fatal injuries and criminal charges are being determined by his Craighead County office.

Ellington also called Eidson a hero for his actions and said he should be allowed to return to work in accordance with Jonesboro Police Department policy.

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