Double homicide suspect dead after hours-long standoff in Helena-West Helena

Double homicide suspect dead after hours-long standoff in Helena-West Helena

HELENA-WEST HELENA, Ark. (WMC) - Law enforcement shot and killed a man accused of killing two people at a home in Helena-West Helena on Tuesday.

SWAT arrived at the Helena-West Helena home after someone reported two bodies in the front yard. Helena-West Helena Police Chief James Patrick Smith later confirmed the suspect shot and killed two people and barricaded himself in a home.

Investigators said the man fired at officers from inside the home on Washington Street. That’s when Arkansas State Police brought in multiple SWAT teams, bomb squad units, a helicopter and a drone.

According to Chief Smith, the SWAT team entered the home and used flashbangs to lure the suspect out.

The suspect and SWAT team exchanged gunfire inside the home. The man inside was shot and killed by police.

The suspect has not been identified at this time.

Raymond Williams said his son was the man killed by officers.

Williams said he became concerned about his son’s behavior over the past several days, saying he wasn’t acting like himself. Williams said the son he knew was intelligent and quiet.

Williams said he did not know the people who were killed outside the home.

Father of Helena-West Helena suspect mourns loss of son

Helena-West Helena resident Marcus Tate said he was evacuated from his workplace during the standoff.

“We saw one body behind the car and one body sitting by the door you know like the car was still running and all that," said Tate. “We looked out and we saw a whole lot of police cars and fire engines and ambulances just everything just SWAT cars and all that crazy stuff."

Tate’s grandfather Wardell Reed has lived in Helena-West Helena for 42 years and says he’s never seen anything like this.

“Well I just was surprised we never saw that before,” said Reed. “Ain’t never seen police in West Helena with your tactical gear like that. They had shields and all that; we’re not used to seeing that in this little small town.”

In all, the standoff lasted nearly seven hours.

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