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Surveillance video from the cul-de-sac where a Maumelle man was shot and stabbed multiple times last Friday morning shows a dark vehicle entering and exiting the area at the time of the attack, authorities said Thursday.

Jerry Stuart, a 60-year-old former Olympic-qualifier and father of five, was leaving for work at 4:40 a.m. Friday when he was fatally attacked in his driveway, Maumelle Police Department spokesman Capt. Jim Hansard said. Stuart's death is the first homicide in Maumelle since 2015.

Video surveillance footage from a nearby house shows one car entering and exiting the cul-de-sac at that time, Hansard said, and there is no other entrance to the area, leading officers to believe that the driver is either a suspect in or a witness to the homicide.

The footage is grainy and dark, but it shows a small sedan entering the neighborhood at 3:51 a.m. and leaving nearly an hour later at 4:44 a.m. Hansard said the neighborhood is usually quiet, especially early in the morning.

Around 4:45 a.m., six people called 911 to report hearing shots, Hansard said. Officers arrived at the scene minutes later, according to a police report.

Stuart was found dead, lying on his back halfway up the driveway when officers arrived, the report said. The report said Stuart had injuries on his arms and head. The Police Department has not released information about the number of shots or stab wounds, or the type of weapon used.

Two witnesses told police that they saw a dark sports car in the area, Hansard said.

Stuart had lived in the curve of the Kingspark Drive cul-de-sac for more than 20 years. According to Arkansas property records, he and his wife, Cynthia, purchased the home in May of 1997.

Neighbors said the area is quiet. Children play in the park, and families watch out for one another, they said.

Sarah LaVigne, who moved to the area about two years ago, said she always felt safe in her home.

"I lock the door, but I mean I feel like I don't really have to," she said. "Everybody watches out for everybody here. We notice when someone's car is gone." Of the slaying, she said, "It was just a shock."

LaVigne said that at first she did not realize that the homicide had happened on her street.

Kayla Derrick, who lives closer to the Stuart home, said the gunshots awoke her.

"Somebody said they heard five, but I only heard three," she said. "Maybe the other two were before I woke up. We were just in denial, like, 'No, that's not what it was.' And then we heard someone wailing and crying. We knew something bad had happened."

Derrick said police arrived quickly and that several neighbors had gone outside to see what had happened.

"I didn't know [Stuart], but everyone tells me he was really loving and he had such great kids," she said. "Just a nice man."

According to data from the Maumelle Police Department, Kingspark Drive and the surrounding area is relatively quiet. Officers have been dispatched to the street a few times a year, and the vast majority of calls haven't been criminal.

On the same day Stuart died, a car burglary was reported on Kingspark Drive at the home next-door to the Stuarts. According to police documents, officers returned to the cul-de-sac at 4:05 p.m., almost 12 hours after Stuart's death.

That burglary was one of three house or car break-ins this year, according to Maumelle Police Department data. Hansard said there was no evidence of a break-in at the homicide scene.

Just two days before his death, Henderson State University's Black Alumni Association had named Stuart one of its outstanding alumni of the year, according to the university's website.

Lloyd Jackson, president of the Black Alumni Association, said Stuart's success in business and as a student athlete had impressed the five-person committee that chooses each year's outstanding alumni.

Stuart was a three-time All-American in indoor and outdoor track and field, and qualified for the Olympics in 1980, the year he graduated from Henderson State University, according to nominee information submitted to the selection committee.

A biography submitted for the alumni award said Stuart began in track and field as a boy, when he made a long-jump pit near his home in Columbus in Hempstead County. He set a school record for the long jump at Saratoga High School and competed throughout college.

After college, Stuart was a manager for Zales and Kays jewelers for more than 20 years.

Jackson said Stuart's daughters and wife will accept the outstanding alumni award on his behalf tonight at the annual Black Alumni Banquet in Arkadelphia.

"This is a big loss for the family, but also for the alumni community," Jackson said. "It is our hope and our desire that we will continue to support the family moving forward. It's a real tragedy."

Anyone with information about Stuart's death is asked to call the Maumelle Police Department at (501) 851-4128.

Metro on 10/19/2018

Print Headline: In video, car seen near time of man's killing in central Arkansas driveway

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