FAYETTEVILLE, AK- For the third time in less than 36 hours, we have confirmation that officers have been shot and killed in the line of duty. These three bring the Line of Duty deaths in the US this year to 115.
— Lisa Brence (@theLovelyLisaB) December 8, 2019
Most recently, a police officer in Northwest Arkansas was fatally shot outside a downtown police station on Saturday night by a gunman who was killed by responding officers a short time later, authorities said.
Here’s updated information from the Fayetteville Police Department about the deadly shooting. pic.twitter.com/zJu5e6qiO3
— Katelynn Zoellner (@KZoellnerTV) December 8, 2019
The gunfire touched off a panic at the nearby Fayetteville square, but police said they were not aware of an ongoing threat to the public.
— Jesse Pierre ???? (@JessePierre_) December 8, 2019
In a briefing with media members shortly before 11 p.m., police chief Mike Reynolds said responders found an officer shot outside the downtown station. The officers then located the gunman and chased him to a nearby alley, where he was fatally shot.
“It appears that the suspect came into the back parking lot and just executed my officer,” Reynolds said.
The shooting happened about 9:40 p.m. (CST).
Reynolds said investigators had no information on a motive.
The names of the officer and the gunman have not been released.
The FBI has been called to help with the crime scene and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office was also helping with the investigation.
Fayetteville’s Police Department is near the city’s square. According to reports, the shots were heard by people attending the Lights of the Ozarks on the square.
“As far as we know right now, we don’t believe the public is in any danger,” Reynolds said.
LET will provide updates as they become available.
Earlier Saturday in Houston, Texas, Sgt. Christopher Brewster, 32, put on his uniform Saturday as he’s done every day for his shift. He was just promoted nine months ago to sergeant.
Heartbreaking news tonight. Multiple sources tell @FOX26Houston the HPD officer shot tonight has died. Tense scene outside Memorial Hermann Hospital where Officer was transported. Houston mayor and police chief will brief reporters here. Stay with us for updates. pic.twitter.com/0jky2Y06Y5
— Maria Salazar Fox26 (@MSalazarNews) December 8, 2019
“Every single day our officers show up and go to work not knowing what they will face. Sgt. Christopher Brewster did that. Came to work, did his job, there was a domestic that he responded to, doing his job, he was fatally injured,” Mayor Sylvester Turner said.
Brewster was shot and killed Saturday afternoon after responding to a domestic violence incident, HPD Chief Art Acevedo said. He was helping his fellow officers when he spotted the victim and alleged suspect, 25-year-old Arturo Solis, Acevedo said.
When Brewster approached the couple, he was shot several times by Solis, Acevedo said. Even during those critical moments, Brewster drew his pistol to protect himself from the suspect and had the courage to page for other units, Acevedo said.
This is Sergeant Christopher Brewster, 32. He graduated from the HPD Academy in November 2010. In nine years, he was assigned to patrol and Gang and Major Offenders Divisions. He promoted in February 2019 and was assigned to Eastside Patrol. EOW: 12-7-19. #hounews pic.twitter.com/ZUaE7EnEv6
— Houston Police (@houstonpolice) December 8, 2019
Although he was “mortally wounded,” he put out the suspect’s description, including clothing, to help officers quickly find the gunman, Acevedo said.
“Before he became a sergeant, he was in an elite union in the Houston Police Department,” said Joe Gamaldi.
He’s the president of the Houston Police Officers’ Union.
“When we talk about Chris, he’s going to be remembered a great man and a great husband, but I want everyone to know that he was a true crime fighter in the truest definition of the word, of those words.”
Acevedo shed tears during Saturday night’s press conference when he talked about Brewster’s growth in the department.
Under the direction of Mayor Turner & @ArtAcevedo to continue protecting illegal immigrants, criminals & creating a sanctuary of Houston HPD loses another officer Sad Day #prayforBrewsterFamily https://t.co/7LgHJsuHIj
— justice one (@justiceonly) December 8, 2019
Acevedo said Brewster attended cadet class 209 and graduated from the academy November 1, 2010. He said Brewster was promoted to sergeant in 2019.
“It’s a year later and he’s already gone,” Acevedo said while fighting through tears. “I remember promoting him with his family watched him get his badge, the pride and the conversation we had February 9, 2019.”
Acevedo confirmed that HPD has recovered a second firearm believed to have been tossed by the suspect. The chief also confirmed that Sgt. Brewster was in fact wearing his bulletproof vest.
— Houston Police (@houstonpolice) December 8, 2019
Brewster leaves behind a wife, his two parents and his sister. Acevedo said the department is fully supporting Brewster’s family during this tragic time.
On Friday night, America lost a U.S. Army veteran and a tremendous police officer from Huntsville, Alabama. And five children lost their father.
Billy Fred Clardy III, a husband and father of five, was shot and killed in the line of duty. He was only 48-years-old.
On Saturday afternoon, Huntsville police Chief Mark McMurray publicly announced the officer’s name at the Fallen Officer Memorial outside the police department’s headquarters.
Clardy became a Huntsville police officer in 2005, then joined the Madison-Morgan County HIDTA Drug Task Force, known as the STAC team, in 2018.
Prior to that, he worked for the Limestone County Sheriff’s Office and the Fayetteville Police Department in Tennessee and was also was a decorated veteran of the U.S. Army.
“Billy Clardy was more than a Hunsville hero,” McMurray said. “He was an American hero.”
According to McMurray, Clardy had received dozens of awards during his time at HPD, including 19 certificates of commendation, two outstanding unit citations and eight letters of appreciation.
Mayor Tommy Battle statement on fallen HPD officer: "Our City is broken-hearted tonight," Battle said. "All of Huntsville mourns along with the Huntsville Police Department and the family and friends of our fallen officer." Full Statement: https://t.co/aj77qowe6b
— HsvMayorsOffice (@HsvMayorsOffice) December 7, 2019
During his 14 years at the department, he had been a patrolman, community resource officer and training officer among his other assignments.
During his time in the military, Clardy received the National Defense Medal, Army Service Medal and Overseas Service Ribbon.
Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle described Clardy as a dedicated community advocate who cared deeply for the local homeless population.
In speaking about him, he called him a “good friend” and “special gift” to the city.
“Our whole community is feeling the hurt of losing one of our own,” Battle said. “Billy Clardy is someone who will be missed … someone who set a standard for us as a community.”
To make things more tragic, Clardy’s father was Billy Clardy Jr. He was a Huntsville police officer who was killed in an on-duty crash 41 years ago, in a crash that happened May 3, 1978 on U.S. 72 at the intersection of Old Gurley Road when his patrol vehicle left the road and hit a rock wall.
It’s been almost 12 years to the date since a Huntsville police officer was shot and killed in the line of duty. The last time was Dec. 14, 2007. That’s when officer Eric Freeman was killed by Kenneth Shipp, who is serving a life sentence for his murder.
According to police, they’ve arrested Clardy III’s killer.
He’s 41-year-old Tennessee man LaJeromeny Brown and is held in the Madison County jail on a capital murder charge. Police say he’s a “known criminal”.
— #WVTM13 (@WVTM13) December 6, 2019
According to police, the shooting happened during a drug task force operation around 4 p.m. Friday near the corner of Oakwood Avenue and Levert Street Northeast.
Police said Brown drew a gun and shot Clardy. Clardy was wearing a bulletproof vest, but the bullet went through the top of the vest and into the officer’s heart.
They spent more than an hour trying to save his life at Huntsville Hospital, but were unable to.
The chief spoke highly of the medical staff who tried to save the officer’s life.
“Billy Clardy woke up (Friday) morning and he put his gun and badge on to go do something he loved to do,” said Madison County Sheriff Kevin Turner. “He loved his job. Billy Clardy would do it all over right now. I know he would.”
Here are some more words from the Friday night press conference:
“I’ll be brief. I do not want to miss the gravity of this moment. Having left the hospital, parents lost a child tonight. There are children who lost a parent today. I think it is very important that we never forget that the people behind us (referring to the group of officers standing behind the podium) are the one’s who show up when you dial those three numbers.
They took an oath to protect and serve. And we get a chance to enjoy the beauty of this city because of the ladies and men of this police department. It is a sacrifice. The Huntsville community has lost a hero.
So, on behalf of the City Council, I am joined by Councilwoman Akridge, we send our strongest and earnest, true love and support to the family, but also to our Huntsville Police Department to let them know that we will not stand for this and we support them in every single way. The Huntsville community is blessed to have the Chief we have, the officers we have and the staff they have.
This will not go without any accountability. I promise you, anything that is needed by the police department, that the city council can help, we will.
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Everybody should take a moment to appreciate your life today. If you see a police officer, give them a hug. Give them a thank you. Give them some type of love and appreciation for creating the greatness that is this city of Huntsville.”
Other statements were made along with many social media posts from departments and agencies across Alabama.
Tonight, we mourn with our neighbors in this darkest hour and offer our unwavering support to Huntsville Police Department.
We are forever thankful for the service of the officer and for the immeasurable sacrifice they gave to the city and community they protected. pic.twitter.com/bLuZRghtY4
— Decatur, AL Police (@DecaturALPD) December 7, 2019
Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle:
“Our City is broken hearted tonight,” Battle said. “All of Huntsville mourns along with the Huntsville Police Department and the family and friends of our fallen officer. We owe a continual and deep debt of gratitude to the men and women in law enforcement who protect our community every day. Let it never be taken for granted the sacrifice that officers make to keep us safe.
We stand side by side with our police department and in the days, weeks and months ahead – have no doubt – we will use the full extent of the law to bring the perpetrator to justice.”
We join with our brothers and sisters at the Huntsville Police Department in grieving with and praying for the family and friends of the officer killed in the line of duty this evening. pic.twitter.com/PIsk1MPKXL
— Limestone Sheriff (@LimestoneCoSO) December 7, 2019
Gov. Kay Ivey:
“I am grieved to hear of the Huntsville Police Officer killed in the line of duty and extend my deepest sympathies and prayers to his family for their unimaginable loss. It has been an exceptionally tough year for our law enforcement community, and this will be felt across our state.
I will also be praying for strength for the Huntsville Police as they grieve the loss of their fellow officer, as well as for their continued protection as they keep us safe. may the Lord’s peace that passes all understanding be with the family and everyone who loved this dedicated officer.”
Huntsville Police Chief Mark McMurray: "The Huntsville Police Department has suffered a tremendous loss." pic.twitter.com/ioGEscco9M
— WHNT News 19 (@whnt) December 7, 2019
U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town:
“All of Alabama is heartbroken again as another Alabama peace officer is gunned down in the line of duty. The Huntsville Police Department investigator, whose name will be released tomorrow, will always be remembered as a good man and a fine officer. Those of us who knew him admired his dedication and professionalism.
We must now direct our prayers to his grieving family and pull together in full support of the Huntsville Police Department and law enforcement everywhere who lost another brother of the badge tonight. I am beyond grief.”
Fraternal Order of Police:
“The Huntsville Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 6 Executive Board and membership will have our fallen police officer brother and his family in our thoughts and prayers, as well as the entire Huntsville Police Department and Madison County law enforcement community. The FOP will stand ready for whatever the department, coworkers, family and friends ask of us in assistance.”
Rep. Robert Aderholt:
“I’m very sorry to hear of the death of this officer. We can never show enough gratitude for the men and women who put their lives on the line for us every day. May God bless this family and all of our law enforcement officers.”
This fallen warrior marks the 12th Huntsville officer lost in the line of duty. He is also the 560th in Alabama history. His death is the 6th in Alabama this year by gunfire and the 7th total. Only Texas (12), New York (12) and California (10) have suffered more LOD deaths this year. Those states have three of the top four largest populations. Alabama ranks 24th.
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Our hearts are heavy for these losses but filled with gratitude for the sacrifice and willingness to serve and pay the ultimate cost.