West Memphis Police Chief recalls losing son in deadly traffic stop

WEST MEMPHIS, AR (WMC-TV) - West Memphis Police Chief Bob Paudert was on his way out of town with his wife last Thursday when he heard a call on his radio:  officer down.  He turned around.

"I saw an officer lying in the ditch face down and there were two or three officers holding his head up out of the water that was just full of blood," Paudert said.  "I thought it was Brandon."

He heard officers calling him Bill, so he knew it was Officer Bill Evans, the first on the scene.

Paudert then started looking for his son, Sergeant Brandon Paudert.

"As I turned up a hill I saw a person on his back," Paudert said.

That person turned out to be his son.

"It was just awful, absolutely terrible," Paudert said.  "I couldn't understand at first why everybody was with Bill and nobody was with Brandon, but once I got there it was obvious he was not going to make it."

Paudert then noticed that his wife, who had just had heart surgery, had gotten out of the car and seen her son on the road.

"Her glasses came off and she went out," Paudert said.  "I thought she had died.  I kept saying don't die on me, I can't lose two members of my family."

The Pauderts went home, but Bob had his police radio.  He heard officers had cornered the suspects in the Walmart parking lot.

"I grabbed my pistol and I was going to Walmart and I had planned on killing them," Paudert said.  "I wanted to kill them."

Before he got out of his house, he heard the suspects, Jerry and Joe Kane, had been killed.

Paudert said one of his SWAT officers came to his house after the shooting and told him about shooting Jerry Kane.

"I had it aimed at the suspect when he turned around and looked at me and I blew his brains out," Paudert said.  "I hugged him and kissed him and said he did exactly what I would have wanted him to do."

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