Police release names of those involved in deadly shooting outside Walmart

Police release 911 calls from Walmart shooting
Officers surround the Walmart in Trumann following a deadly shooting. (Source: KAIT)
Officers surround the Walmart in Trumann following a deadly shooting. (Source: KAIT)
Agencies from all across Region 8 responded to Trumann after reports of a shooting at the Walmart. (Source: KAIT)
Agencies from all across Region 8 responded to Trumann after reports of a shooting at the Walmart. (Source: KAIT)
Fire crews and other emergency personnel responded to the scene following reports of a deadly shooting at Walmart. (Source: KAIT)
Fire crews and other emergency personnel responded to the scene following reports of a deadly shooting at Walmart. (Source: KAIT)
Police Chief Chad Henson addresses Region 8 News early Monday providing an update on the deadly shooting. (Source: KAIT)
Police Chief Chad Henson addresses Region 8 News early Monday providing an update on the deadly shooting. (Source: KAIT)

TRUMANN, AR (KAIT) - Trumann police have released the names of those involved in a deadly shooting outside the Walmart Sunday night.

Monday morning police stated Gabriel Urrabazo, 22, was holding Faith Morgan, 21, as a hostage.

Police then stated that Robert Highfill, 35, of Trumann attempted to intervene, but was shot by Urrabazo.

Bond for Urrabazo was set at $500,000 and he faces a charge of first-degree murder, according to police. His next court appearance is set for May 29.

Trumann Police Chief Chad Henson said officers received a call around 9:15 p.m. Sunday about a domestic situation happening at the front doors of the Walmart on Industrial Park Drive.

After Highfill was shot, Urrabazo once again held the gun to Morgan's head.

The suspect eventually let Morgan go and began to walk away. Officers continued to urge Urrabazo to drop his weapon.

The negotiation lasted about an hour and a half police stated. Walmart was cleared during those negotiations. Urrabazo surrendered peacefully and was taken into custody.

On Tuesday, Poinsett County Sheriff Kevin Molder posted on Facebook that Urrabazo had been transferred to the Craighead County Detention Center due to jail personnel who is related to the victim.

Molder's post went on to say out of respect for a smooth and efficient jail operation, it was deemed necessary to move Urrabazo to Craighead County.

Highfill's family released the following statement on Tuesday:

"On behalf of the family of Robert Highfill first the family would like to thank everyone for the outpouring of support they have received the last twenty four hours. The family has requested privacy during this difficult time so they can process what happened and mourn the loss a father, husband, son and friend. Robert Highfill was a great husband and father to his three children. Please respect their privacy during this difficult time. This will be the only statement that will be released moving forward. Please continue to keep them in your thoughts and prayers."

The police chief told Region 8 News he believes his officers handled the situation as best they could in a very populated area.

He said two of his officers tried to stop Highfill from walking into the situation while also trying to talk down the suspect.

"They were giving clear and concise information but it seems like from Mr. Highfill's posture that he was committed, he was going to intervene and he was going to try and save her and he possibly did. Unfortunately, he was shot and killed during that," Henson said. "We wish that he would have listened to us. We wish we were closer and could have stopped him."

One of the officers did fire at Urrabazo after Highfill was shot, but the officer missed, according to the police chief.

The deadly shooting unfolded in front of numerous bystanders, including children in the parking lot.

Monday, Henson responded to those who have said police should have shot the suspect immediately.

"Imagine a police officer that's in the rain, in the dark, having to fear his background, which is a glass door to the layaway section at Walmart," Henson said.  "And then to have a hostage standing in front of the suspect and then having two people enter into the scene that you're desperately trying to get away from this. What would you do? I think my two guys acted valiantly. They did exactly as they were trained, but at the end of it they're hurting because they feel like they could have done more."

Walmart issued the following statement to Region 8 News on Monday:

"The entire Walmart family is deeply saddened by this tragic event. Our thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to the family and those impacted by this incident. We are assisting law enforcement and are referring all requests for information to them."

Henson said grief counselors will be present at school Monday for the children who witnessed the deadly shooting.

"Our community and our police department are in a tough spot right now," Henson said. Two of his officers confronted the man and witnessed the deadly shooting.

As the community grieves and comes to grip with the tragic events, investigators are working to continue to piece together why the shooting happened.

Henson urges anyone who recorded the incident on their cell phones to come forward and help police in their investigation.

"It happened at the most populous place in Trumann. It's tragic that it's happened in our community," Henson said. "A lot of people witnessed something tonight that they should have never seen. We're going to have to go through a lot of healing from here on out. It was just a terrible day."

As the situation unfolded, false information and rumors quickly began to spread on Facebook, many calling it an active shooter situation.

Henson said although it is common nowadays for people to communicate concerns on social media before verifying them, he said putting the term active shooter on Facebook can cause more widespread panic when this suspect was there to confront one person.

"We're taking a step back by doing it that way, by just blasting it on social media that there's an active shooter when in fact you'd call the police department and we can either dispell it or assist," Henson said. "I don't know if we're going to fix that overnight. It unfolded last night and it just basically puts out a blanket panic."

The police chief credits nearby agencies with helping manage and control the scene quickly. "When something like this happens, we have a lot of friends and they were able to show up quickly," Henson said.

In addition to the Trumann Police Department, officers with the Jonesboro Police Department, deputies with the Craighead County and Greene County Sheriff's Offices, agents with the Arkansas Game and Fish, Arkansas State Police and firefighters from surrounding agencies along with other emergency first responders helped with the crime scene.

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