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PINE BLUFF -- Matthew Mellor, an elementary school principal in the Pulaski County Special School District, was in recovery after surgery Monday morning in a Pine Bluff hospital after he and another person were shot in that city Sunday afternoon.

Mellor, 48, is the principal of Lawson Elementary School in west Pulaski County. He previously served as Daisy Bates Elementary's principal.

District leaders were notified of Mellor's injuries Sunday night.

According to a report from the Pine Bluff Police Department, Mellor and another man, identified as 56-year-old Dennis Bradley, were shot by an unknown assailant behind the Car-Mart car lot near Blake Street in Pine Bluff. Officers were flagged down by Bradley, the report said, who had been shot in his right hand. Mellor had gunshot wounds in his left and right sides.

Bradley, according to the report, told police he had been negotiating on Facebook Marketplace with an unknown black man who said he was selling a vehicle. Bradley said the unknown man texted him an address, 4223 W. Fifth Ave. in Pine Bluff, where he said he could see the vehicle, but when Bradley and Mellor arrived, neither the man nor the vehicle were there. He told police the man then texted him another address one street over on West Fourth Avenue, and when they arrived, he said the man got into the car with them and directed them to 5th Avenue and Oleander Street behind Car-Mart, telling them that his uncle was with the vehicle at Car-Mart.

Bradley told police that when they arrived, the man got out of the car and pointed a small, black handgun at them, and said "give me the money." Bradley said he then pulled his own handgun and pointed it at the man, who then fired several times and fled on foot.

The district's communication staff sent an email message to district employees Monday about the situation: "Good morning, Some of you may have heard but I wanted to share this message with all PCSSD staff. Lawson principal, Mr. Matt Mellor was shot yesterday (Sunday) in Pine Bluff. He is out of surgery and is recovering. Our prayers are with Mr. Mellor, his family and our Lawson family."

The Pulaski County Special School District will appoint a substitute principal to Lawson Elementary, spokesman Jessica Duff said late Monday afternoon. Today is the first day of the 2019-20 school year in the district.

State Desk on 08/13/2019

Print Headline: Central Arkansas elementary school principal shot in holdup


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Archived Comments

  • Nodmcm
    August 13, 2019 at 4:44 a.m.

    Does anyone who advertises items on the internet ever actually have the item for sale, or are all internet sales really just robbery attempts?

  • FollowDaMoney
    August 13, 2019 at 8:11 a.m.

    Pretty sure any social interaction in Pine Bluff may lead to being robbed. It's why we gas up and would rather pee on the side of the road than stop there.

  • jiminyc56
    August 13, 2019 at 8:22 a.m.

    I wouldn't ever meet someone from Pine Bluff on their terms. If a deal seems too good to be true, it is most likely a scam.

  • Cockeyedview
    August 13, 2019 at 8:23 a.m.

    Very sketchy story.

  • SPR712
    August 13, 2019 at 9 a.m.

    Just because he is educated doesn't mean he has any common sense.

  • Jfish
    August 13, 2019 at 9:38 a.m.

    Nice job by Bradley, just needs to be a little quicker with the trigger next time, probably his first gunfight.

  • GeneralMac
    August 13, 2019 at 9:40 a.m.

    COCKEYEDVIEW....."very sketchy story "

    BINGO !

  • GeneralMac
    August 13, 2019 at 9:50 a.m.

    After reading this story, it appears someone thinks 1+1=3 because this story just doesn't " add up"

    Why in the world would someone go to the hell hole of Pine Bluff to " buy a car" and agree to meet anywhere besides a very PUBLIC place?

    Seems the potential buyer of "the car" was prepared as he was carrying a gun and didn't hesitate firing back.

    Was this the old "car deal" gone bad ?

  • Morebeer
    August 13, 2019 at 10:38 a.m.

    GM, it doesn’t say Bradley fired back. If you point a gun at someone, better be prepared to use it.

  • Illinoisroy
    August 13, 2019 at 1:11 p.m.

    guess he wasn't the much heralded "good guy with a gun".