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story.lead_photo.caption Deundre Watson

A Little Rock man was fatally shot Thursday night less than two miles from where his father was shot to death five years ago.

Little Rock police identified Cedric Pennington Jr., 21, as the victim of Thursday evening's shooting, which occurred at 5224 Stanley Drive near Baseline Road, police spokesman officer Eric Barnes said. Pennington's father, Cedric Pennington Sr., was shot and killed in February 2014 at 8261 Baseline Road.

Little Rock detectives arrested Deundre Watson, 18, on a manslaughter charge early Friday morning in Cedric Pennington Jr.'s death, Barnes said.

Watson drove Pennington to UAMS Medical Center's emergency room with a gunshot wound to his chest Thursday evening, according to Barnes and an arrest report.

Pennington died shortly after he arrived.

Barnes said "preliminary information" indicated the shooting happened near Baseline Road, and officers began searching around apartment complexes in the area for a crime scene. After searching for several hours, investigators learned that the shooting happened at 5224 Stanley Drive in an apartment complex.

[INTERACTIVE MAP: Search all killings in Little Rock, North Little Rock this year at]

Watson initially told investigators that someone else had shot Pennington, the arrest report said.

But witnesses near the Stanley Drive apartment told police that Pennington and Watson were alone in the back room of an apartment at the time of the shooting. Pennington ran out of the back room and screamed, "He shot me," according to the arrest report.

A police report lists Pennington's home address in the Stanley Drive apartment complex, but not in the apartment where the shooting occurred. Watson lives on West 31st Street, according to his arrest report.

Watson was in the Pulaski County jail without bond Friday evening.

Arkansas law says manslaughter is an appropriate charge when one person causes the death of another while under extreme emotional distress for which there is a reasonable excuse or when acting recklessly.

Watson pleaded innocent to residential-burglary and theft-of-property charges in June, according to court records. He was arrested in May on a drug-possession charge, to which he pleaded guilty and was given a suspended sentence of one year in prison.

Watson was arrested in February on a charge of possession of drug paraphernalia. No sentencing information pertaining to the paraphernalia charge was available in online court records.

Pennington's father was fatally shot on Feb. 28, 2014, while walking home from a gas station. Two men ambushed him in the parking lot of Royal Oaks Apartments, according to court records and newspaper archives.

Nathaniel Antwone Eskridge and Meco Vontrelle Howard were arrested in the elder Pennington's death, according to previous reports. Eskridge was acquitted and Howard was never charged, according to reports.

Metro on 09/21/2019


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