HELENA-WEST HELENA, Ark. (WMC) - The flags at the Helena-West Helena Police Department and across the state of Arkansas fly at half staff as the community mourns the loss of an officer with a promising future who leaves behind two children.
“We’re going to miss our brother,” Chief James Smith of Helena West Helena Police Department said.
Chief Smith was emotional talking about the death of 5-year veteran officer Travis Wallace.
Wallace was shot and killed while attempting to apprehend a suspect wanted in connection with a recent shooting.
Investigators say Wallace used his police vehicle to attempt to stop the suspect from leaving the driveway of the Delta Inn when that suspect shot Wallace.
Dorothy Jefferson works at the Delta Inn and heard multiple gunshots.
“Awful. It’s sad. Words can’t describe how sad it is. All I heard about the officer were nothing but good things,” Jefferson said.
Chief Smith says Wallace had a bright future, and he hoped Wallace would someday become a police chief as well.
“Being in this situation several times you can never get used to it. Because all our hearts are broken,” Chief Smith said.
Wallace leaves behind two children, including a 10-year-old son.
“We want the family to know we have dedicated ourselves, he’s got many mothers and fathers right here at the Helena-West Helena Police Department,” Chief Smith said.
Two suspects have been arrested in Mississippi in connection with Officer Wallace’s murder.
29-year-old Latarious Howard is charged with capital murder for killing Wallace, and 24-year-old Bruce Hillie is believed to be the getaway driver and is charged with hindering arrest.
Both are awaiting extradition back to Arkansas.