Sadness strikes the law enforcement community as Pea Ridge Police Department announced that Officer Kevin Apple was targeted and killed on Saturday, June 26. Local reports state that Officer Apple was killed at the White Oak gas station attempting to stop the suspects’ car.
The report indicates that Officer Apple’s patrol car was hit first as the suspects, who the Rogers Police Department were also pursuing, attempted to flee the gas station. During the suspects’ reckless escape, they hit Officer Apple. Apple died at the scene.
The Pea Ridge Police Department’s official Facebook shared a message from the Benton County Sheriff’s Office, who helped pursue the suspects. The Sheriff’s Office said that Officer Apple was a 23-year veteran law enforcement veteran, with the last three of those years being spent on the Pea Ridge Police Department.
The County stated, “Earlier today, Officer Apple and Officer Brian Stamps attempted to make contact with a vehicle that Rogers Police Department had a BOLO out on. During the incident, Officer Apple was run over and pronounced deceased on the scene.”
The other officers on the scene said that the suspects increased their speed as he drove into Officer Apple, striking and killing him. Local Fox 24 reported that “multiple agencies including Bella Vista PD and Benton County Sheriff’s Office pursued the vehicle that allegedly hit Officer Apple, which was eventually stopped in Bella Vista.”
The report identified the two suspects as 22-year-old Shawna Chash and 18-year-old Elijah Andazola. The two were arrested and booked into the Benton County Jail. Prosecuting attorney Nathan Smith told the press that his office will update the list of charges as soon as the investigation is over but that he expects to charge the suspects with some level of homicide. Right now, the two were arrested on felony fleeing charges.
Lt. Michael Lisenbee said at a joint press conference with the Benton County Sheriff’s Office, who will be taking over the case, that the Department is grieving the loss of Officer Apple and asks for prayers to help the family, the Department, and the city heal from this loss.
Sheriff Shaun Holloway fought back emotion as he explained that he had known Officer Apple for over twenty years and that it was “a dark day for law enforcement.”
Prosecuting Attorney Nathan Smith told the press that he wanted to “echo” Sherriff Holloway’s words adding that Officer Apple “certainly has honored his community by sacrificing his own life in their service. We want to honor him.”
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