Weekend Shooting Escalates Racial Tensions in Jonesboro

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) -- An apparent armed robbery in Jonesboro Saturday evening has police searching for three suspects and has left several families in an apartment complex on edge.  But the families say it's a result of racial tension in north Jonesboro that's been building.

The incident happened on Cedar Heights Drive when three African-American men allegedly fired shots and robbed several Hispanic males.

Antonio Felipe has lived in Jonesboro for ten years, but racial tensions at his Cedar Heights apartment complex are making him consider moving.

"Oh yea, it's a lot of tension over here. At night time you can't walk, you can't walk over here. No way, not at all. At 7:00 p.m. you stay home. You can't walk outside your homes because of people robbing," said Felipe.

Several members of Felipe's family were victims of the robbery Saturday night.  Thieves fired shots then stole credit cards, a cell phone and nearly $1,800 in cash at gun point.

"My nephew and my sister," said Felipe, "Last night they could not sleep because he was crying, he saw what happened, all this stuff."

According to the Jonesboro Police report, the armed suspects were wearing red bandanas over their faces during the attack, but Felipe's family reports it was almost too dark to see anything.

"This is not the first incident that has happened in this area, it has happened in times past in the last month or two," said Jonesboro Police Detective Lyle Waterworth.

Felipe said his cousin was attacked earlier by a black man while doing laundry on the property.

"He was kicked in the face, and they put a gun to his head. He later ran, it's bad right now, especially for this area," said Felipe.

As for Saturday's suspects, they are still at large.

"If anyone comes into contact with them, do not approach them, consider them armed and dangerous and call the police department or Crime Stoppers," said Waterworth.

Jonesboro Police are searching for the suspects in this case. If you have any information, call Crime Stoppers at 935-STOP.