An Arkansas police officer was pronounced dead on Saturday after he was run over and dragged by a fleeing vehicle.
Around noon, Officer Kevin Apple approached a driver in Benton County when a suspect rammed a police cruiser and drove over the law enforcement veteran in Benton County, according to Arkansas Online. Two suspects have since been arrested, Shawna Rhae Cash, 22, and Elijah Anadoloza Sr., 18, one of whom faces capital murder charges, while the other faces attempted capital murder charges.
“Our hearts are filled with sorrow and despair from the loss of our brother,” the Pea Ridge Police Department wrote in a Facebook post. “Kevin was so important to us and will forever be missed. We feel the love and prayers from everyone.”
An officer on the scene during the incident fired at the Jeep, which was said to be occupied by Cash and Anadoloza, though the car continued to flee. The vehicle was then pursued by multiple units before the pair was apprehended miles away.
The death of the officer drew the attention of Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who ordered his state’s flags to fly at half-staff in Apple’s honor.
“I am deeply saddened to hear of the loss of Pea Ridge police officer Kevin Apple,” the Republican governor wrote in a Saturday tweet. “My prayers are with Officer Apple’s family and the entire Pea Ridge community during this time. I have ordered flags to be flown at half-staff in tribute to Officer Apple.”
On Sunday morning, Apple’s body was escorted from the Benton County coroner’s office to the state crime lab in Little Rock. A candlelight vigil was previously held on Saturday evening.
In a June 20 report, the Washington Examiner found that 38 law enforcement officers were killed in the first six months of 2021, compared to 27 in the same time frame in 2020, equating to a 41% increase. The uptick in deaths was coupled with precipitous crime surges in Atlanta, New York City, and Baltimore.