HELENA-WEST HELENA, Ark. (WMC) - An 8-year-old boy was shot and killed Saturday night, according to Helena-West Helena Police.
The actual shooting occurred at the 400 block of N. Second St. around 10:15 p.m. Saturday, Helena-West Helena Arkansas Police Chief James Smith confirmed.
The incident began as an argument between a 20-year-old woman and her boyfriend, 23-year-old Hector Garcia Lopez. Police say the woman was trying to leave the house with her son and the 8-year-old victim, who was her nephew visiting from out of town.
Lopez opened fire through the car window at the woman as she attempted to flee, but instead, he hit the 8-year-old.
Officers stopped the woman as she was driving at a high speed going the wrong way on Second Street and East Baldwin Avenue. When they pulled her over, they saw the victim suffering from gunshot wounds.
Police took the victim to the hospital, but he did not survive his injuries. Chief Smith said they performed the death notification Saturday night.
Lopez turned himself in and is currently at Philips County Jail. He will be formally charged Monday and police will request for at least a 1 or 2-million-dollar bond, according to Chief Smith.
Lopez faces the following possible charges:
- Capital murder
- Aggravated assault
- 2 counts of attempted murder
- Domestic charges
Smith says investigators are questioning Lopez and looking for the murder weapon.
Smith also commented that this is the second homicide in the past two weeks due to domestic violence. The other was last Saturday, Oct. 10.
Since the start of the pandemic, Smith has noticed an upward trend in domestic violence cases. Right now, those kinds of cases are sitting at a 45 percent increase.
He says that includes both very violent cases and homicide.