Shooting, fire at downtown Blytheville business

BLYTHEVILLE, Ark. (WMC-TV) - Police say an employee of a Blytheville business was killed Tuesday and another man was arrested after the business caught fire.

Owner Tim Smith and the 20 employees who survived the incident were rattled to their core, scared after a frightful morning which ended with Kenneth Ramirez in jail facing murder charges.

Investigators said Ramirez showed up at Ace Glass repair, harassing his wife at work.

By the time police showed up, Ramirez was gone.

"As soon as they left he came back with a shotgun and killed an employee in the front office then went through the building shooting at other employees," Smith said.

Police were called back to the scene. Soon after they arrived, a fire broke out.

"The shooter possibly used a flammable liquid to start the fire. It spread awfully fast." Chief Ivory Diamond of the Blytheville Fire Department said.

With one shot dead inside, everyone else got out without injury.

Within moments, Ramirez surrendered without incident.

Blytheville police have not released the name of the man killed, but fellow employees said he was a father of four young children.

Police did not know if the employee died of a shotgun blast to the chest or from smoke inhalation. An autopsy will be conducted to determine the cause of death.

Blytheville Police Chief Ross Thompson characterized the incident as a "domestic shooting."

Police said the victim was the boyfriend of another employee, and Ramirez is either the husband or former husband of an employee.

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