Ark. Democratic Chairman Murdered Wednesday Afternoon - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Little Rock, AR -- Lauren Payne Reports

Ark. Democratic Chairman Murdered Wednesday Afternoon

LITTLE ROCK, AR (KAIT) -- There were horrifying moments in downtown Little Rock on Wednesday, as police say a gunman walked into Arkansas' Democratic Party Headquarters, went past the secretary and shot Party Chairman, Bill Gwatney.

"They introduced themselves. At that time he pulled out a handgun and shot Chairman Gwatney several times. He then turned and left the business," said Little Rock Police Department Spokesman, Lieutenant Terry Hastings.

Police say the 51 year old suspect, who's name they are not releasing [name of alleged shooter since released], left the scene.

After a 30-mile chase, the suspect was shot and caught in Grant County.

He was transported to the hospital, but died later Wednesday afternoon.

"Motive and things of that nature is something that we'll be working together to try and figure that out," said Hastings.

Gwatney died just before 4 o'clock Wednesday afternoon. He was just 49 years old.

In addition to serving as Arkansas' Democratic Party Chair, Gwatney owned and operated three car dealerships in Pulaski county.

Gwatney also served 10 years in the state senate.

Senator Paul Bookout said, "Though he was chairman of the Democratic Party, I can attest to the fact that Bill had worked with and had just as many friends on the Republican side as he did on the Democratic side.  I think you'll see by the reaction in the coming days, that he was loved and respected by everybody in the state."

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