Investigator one of the last to speak to fallen officer

WEST MEMPHIS, AR (WMC-TV) - One of the first officers on the scene where two West Memphis Police officers were killed in the line of duty was also one of the last to talk to Sergeant Brandon Paudert.

Lester Ditto is an investigator with the West Memphis Police Department and spoke with Paudert 20 minutes before he was shot and killed.

"When you hear Brandon's laugh, he has a goofy, funny laugh," Ditto said.  "It's just unique."

Ditto heard the call go out over the radio.  He was riding in the second car to arrive at I-40 and College Road.

"I think it took a little while to me that when I found out, when I knew, when Chief Paudert turned to me and said, 'it's Brandon'," Ditto said.

Ditto stayed on the scene all day, even during the second shootout.

"And then everybody left," Ditto said.  "It's not that I didn't want to go, but I needed to stay there with Brandon."

Ditto said the events of that tragic day will never fade.

"None of us is promised tomorrow, but as I heard a pastor say one time, we're all one heartbeat away," Ditto said.  "Lots of truth to that."

Ditto said both Paudert and Evans were dedicated to the job.

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