Arkansas residents concerned after string of crimes

Arkansas residents concerned after string of crimes

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Earle, Arkansas is a small community of just 2,600 people. Four people being shot over the weekend left residents alarmed. One pastor here reached out to WMC Action News 5 to get the word out that something needs to be done.

“I’m glad you were able to come out and do this story, and they have some serious issues in Earle,” Earle resident Pastor Otis Davis said.

Davis, a former mayor of Earle and Arkansas state representative, says on Tuesday the windows were shot out of his church’s van. He says it appears to be stray bullets.

“I’m afraid myself because a stray bullet has no eyes and shootings. This should not be tolerated,” Davis said.

Even scarier, the Crittenden County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a shooting in this area in Earle called the doughnut because the drive is a circle like a doughnut.

Investigators say four people were shot Saturday and Sunday at the doughnut. The victims are expected to recover. It is not clear what it was over.

“It’s real scary. I don’t know what’s going on with the world today,” Patricia Smith, Earle resident, said.

Smith lives across from the doughnut. She says her house was shot up a month ago. No one was injured but look at the bullet markings 24 of them. She says she has no idea who did it.

Davis says he has talked with the Earle police chief and wants to meet with the mayor and council to come up with a solution.

He says there are 3 police officers in Earle who make a very low salary.

“If the police department cannot do their job dissolve the police department,” Davis said.

WMC Action News 5 wanted to talk with Earle Mayor Sherman Smith but we were told by a woman in the Clerk’s office he is out of town. We asked if we could talk with him by phone and was told that would not be possible.

While we were at the police department, a woman named Tammy Hayes drove up. Her cell phone had been stolen in Wynne and it pinged at an address in Earle.

She wanted help from the Earle police.

“I’m here hoping they can go with me over to the address and confront them to see if they got my phone,” Hayes said.

No police were around so Hayes went on her own.

“It’s kind of disappointing that sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do,” Hayes said.

No one seemed to know anything about the stolen phone but neighbors said they would try to help.

“If you can’t be safe in your own city you live in what is the use. What is the use of paying taxes,” Davis said.

The Crittenden County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the weekend shootings. We were told by an investigator there is a person of interest.

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