Police Officer Killed On Duty - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Gassville, AR--Brett Garrett Reports

Police Officer Killed On Duty

February 5, 2006-Posted at 10:20 p.m. CST

GASSVILLE, AR--A man hunt that started on the east coast, ended in north central Arkansas last night, with the death a police officer and the death of a suspect. 18-year-old Jacob Robida was wanted by authorities for attacking patrons of a Massachusetts gay bar with a hatchet and a gun. After picking up a female companion in West Virginia Robida made his way to Arkansas where a routine traffic stop cost a Gassville police officer his life, and today the small community is in shock.

"We now know that Robida fired a handgun killing Officer Sell," said Bill Sadler of the Arkansas State Police.

Officer Jim Sell was killed while inspecting the license of Jacob Robida.   After killing Sell the chase continued to Norfork where Robida and his passenger Jennifer Bailey of West Virginia faced off against law enforcement officials.

"Investigators now believe Robida raised a handgun to the head of Bailey, fired and it is believed she was killed instantly by that gunshot," said Sadler.

Robida then opened fire on officers before he was shot and critically injured. For the people of the small Baxter County town the death of Sell is tough.

"It was upsetting because I knew him personally he was so nice to us who worked here and nice to everyone in town," said Gassville resident Mary Crownover.

Crownover, who works at the motel where Sell was killed, had fond memories of Sell working the nightshift.

"He would come through the canapé and say are you alright sweetheart, call me if you need me and just real considerate of all us that work here at night," said Crownover.

Sell retired to Gassville just a couple years ago and only patrolled the streets a few shifts a week, he was highly thought of and to many in the community he was a father figure.

"We loved him in the community; to some people he was a father figure, always had a smile on his face and would wave to you while you were walking down the street. He was just a great guy," said Gassville Police Officer Eric Krahmer.

It's a loss the whole community is facing together.

"He will just be deeply missed and our hearts go out to his family and friends," said Krahmer.

Jacob Robida died early this morning at Cox-South hospital in Springfield, Missouri. The case is still an ongoing investigation as officials try to figure out the relationship between Robida and Bailey and a motive for the crime.

 

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