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story.lead_photo.caption An Arkansas State Police vehicle is shown in this file photo.

A 41-year-old man was arrested Friday in connection with the shooting death of a University of Arkansas Pine Bluff basketball player and ROTC cadet, according to an Arkansas State Police spokesman.

U.S. Marshals arrested Octavius Easterling at approximately 4 p.m. Friday in North Little Rock, state police spokesman Bill Sadler said. State police investigators had issued a warrant for Easterling’s arrest on charges of first-degree murder and first-degree battery, Sadler said.

Easterling is a suspect in the killing of Sierra’Li Nicole Wade.

Wade was playing basketball in her hometown of Lake Village in Chicot County when she was fatally shot around 6 p.m. on Nov. 25 in Henry Augustus Johnson Park, according to previous reports.

A second person was injured in the shooting, but the injury was not life-threatening. The shooting occurred two days before Thanksgiving while Wade was home on break.

She was a freshman at the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff, where she was a cadet in ROTC and a guard on the basketball team, according to a statement from the university at the time of her death and the university’s roster.

The Lake Village Police Department said in a post on social media that Easterling was arrested and transported to the Pulaski County jail Friday afternoon. Sadler said Lake Village police officers were on their way to Little Rock late Friday to pick up Easterling and transport him to the Ashley County jail. His first court date will be on Monday.

An obituary for Wade said she was born in San Diego, Calif. and was buried last Monday.


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