A veteran police officer has been killed when suspects fled the scene striking him with their vehicle according to reports from the Pea Ridge, Arkansas police department.
Lieutenant Michael Lisenbee with the Pea Ridge Police Department confirmed the death to happened on Saturday morning June 26.
Officer Kevin Dale Apple was killed while in the line of duty as he and another officer approached a vehicle that had been reported by the Rogers Police Department. Rogers Police had been involved in a vehicle pursuit of an older model blue SUV. Pea Ridge Police were alerted by Rogers police at approximately 11:24 a.m.
Police say at 12:09 p.m., Pea Ridge Police located the vehicle parked at the White Oak gas station on N. Curtis Avenue. Officer Apple and Officer Brian Stamps attempted to make contact with the vehicle occupants, but when they did, an altercation erupted. Police say the vehicle then rammed into the police car as the suspects were fleeing, ran over Officer Apple, killing him. Officer Stamps was not injured.
With the help of several surrounding departments including the Rogers Police Department, the Benton County Sheriff’s Office, Arkansas State Police, and more, the two suspects were successfully located in Bella Vista and taken into custody without incident. According to police, one of the suspects did try to run away from officers but was later found in a trailer. They have pending charges of felony fleeing according to the Benton County prosecutor and could be charged with some form of homicide pending the investigation.
The suspects have been identified as Shawna Cash of Pine Bluff and Elijah Andazola of Bella Vista. The relationship between the two is unknown at this time. Both are being held at the Benton County Jail, facing Capital Murder or Attempted Capital Murder charges without bond.
The Benton County Sheriff’s Office will be taking over the investigation.
Pea Ridge Police say all they need right now is prayers.
“Our department is in shock right now. We are a hometown and everyone in our Police Department are family, and so we ask that you give us and our family some space. Give us some patience and time and we do appreciate your support.”
Officer Apple was a 23-year police veteran and served with the Pea Ridge Police Department for three years. A candlelight vigil was held Saturday night at Pea Ridge City Park.
Governor Asa Hutchinson ordered flags to fly at half-staff in honor of Officer Apple. Flags are to remain at half-staff until the day of interment.
Governor Hutchinson released the following statement:
“I am deeply saddened to hear of the loss of Pea Ridge police officer Kevin Apple. My prayers are with Officer Apple’s family and the entire Pea Ridge community during this time.”
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge also issued the following statement regarding the death of Pea Ridge Officer Kevin Apple.
“My heart aches as today marks the end of Officer Kevin Apple’s watch. He will forever be remembered for his unwavering commitment to safeguarding his community from harm,” says Attorney General Rutledge. “As the chief law enforcement officer of the State, I send my deepest condolences and prayers to Officer Apple’s family, friends, and his brothers and sisters in blue. He has left a lasting impression on law enforcement statewide and this is a devastating loss for the local community.”
Thanks to our friends at 5 News for contributing to this story.