Relatives of man killed in shooting with AR police chief said he had ‘dirt’ on police

Relatives of man killed in shooting with AR police chief said he had ‘dirt’ on police
Johnny Kelley (Source: family)
Johnny Kelley (Source: family)

TRUMANN, AR (WMC) - The Chief of Police at Trumann Police Department was injured in a shooting while on duty Friday.

The shooting happened Friday morning on Kasinger Lane off Cash Road in Trumann, Arkansas.

Chief Chad Henson responded to a call for help at Johnny Kelley's home.

Once Henson arrived, Kelley started shooting at him. Henson returned fire killing Kelley, according to Arkansas State Police.

Kelley's body has been sent to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory for an autopsy.

Henson was shot during the exchange of gunfire. He was taken to Regional Medical Center in Memphis to undergo treatment and has been released from the hospital.

Investigators said Henson was wearing a bullet-proof vest when he was shot.

Henson is highly respected and well trained, according to Blytheville Police Chief Ross Thompson. Thompson said Henson previously worked in Blytheville.

Memphis Police Department Director Mike Rallings dropped by the hospital to check on Henson.

"We always want to check on our fellow law enforcement officers," Rallings said. "Unfortunately, we're here often, so we know what you kind of need to be supportive."

Poinsett County Sheriff's Department, Trumann Police Department, and Arkansas State Police are investigating the shooting.

Joseph Bowen and Patty Norris still can't believe their relative Johnny Kelley is dead.

"I was asleep, and I heard the gunshot," Bowen said.

"Yeah, they killed him," Norris added.

The divorced father of two sons lived behind his aunt and first cousin's house in a trailer.

"The chief of police came out here to talk to my cousin, my first cousin," Bowen said.

Bowen and Norris said they are surprised to hear Kelley fired any shots.

"He never had a gun," Norris said. "He never owned a gun."

Norris was also surprised to hear Kelley called police to come out here.

"He didn't even have a phone that worked," Norris said.

Norris and Bowen said Kelley was a master plumber and was trying to get a job with the city of Trumann.

They also said he kept talking about "dirt" he had discovered about Trumann police.

"I told him to keep his mouth shut because if he didn't see what happened. he ended up dead," Norris said.

Norris said what's even worse is that Kelley's mother has been in intensive care for three weeks.

"This could have killed her today when we had to tell her about her son and that was not easy," Norris said.

We reached out to Chief Henson, who said he couldn't do an interview because he is on pain medication and has a very sore chest. He is expected to recover.

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