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​​​​​Little Rock police cite 'conflict resolution problem' for murder toll; 4 killed over weekend

by Ashton Eley | December 28, 2020 at 3:10 p.m.
Officers investigate the scene of a homicide in the 8400 block of Labette Drive in Little Rock on Sunday. The homicide was one of four in a 24-hour period in Little Rock.

Little Rock police held a news conference Monday afternoon to discuss the four slayings this weekend as murders are on the rise this year in the city and nationally.

The victim and suspect appear to have known each other in each incident, Police Chief Keith Humphrey said of the homicides.

In Little Rock, 55 people have been slain this year. Forty-three people were killed in 2019.

While Humphrey did not elaborate on possible specific motivations for each of the separate homicides Saturday and Sunday, he said “we have a conflict resolution problem here in our city, made obvious by what’s going on this past weekend. We need to find a way to ensure people find a way to agree to disagree in not such a violent way.”

A preliminary FBI report in September found murders up 15 percent nationwide in the first half of 2020.

Police arrested a man Saturday afternoon in the killing of his wife at 2723 Longcoy St. They were directed to the front door of the house by Quincy Harris and found Kimeisha Harris dead on the living room floor from a gunshot wound. Children were present.

[Video not showing up above? Click here to view » https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8shHkl-fsU]

Quincy Harris was subsequently arrested in the shooting and faces first-degree murder and possession of a firearm by certain persons charges.

“Our hearts go out to the family and friends of the victims… There’s never a good time for anyone to lose their life, but the fact this occurred during the holidays, it just adds to the tragedy,” Humphrey said. “There are little boys whose mother fell victim to homicide during the Christmas holidays. That affects all of us here today, personally and professionally. We’re going to continue to makes sure these individuals are going to be identified and arrested.”

Around 10:30 p.m. Saturday, police responded to a medical distress call at 10921 Mara Lynn Rd., Humphrey said. After forcing a door open, they found Brandon Simpson, 36, of Little Rock dead inside a home.

Officers also discovered a woman hiding in the shower. The woman was not injured and was questioned by investigators, police spokesman Mark Edwards said, but he could not comment further on her involvement.

On Geyer Springs Road, officers found Michael Oliver, 47, dead in an apartment after responding to a 6 a.m. call on Sunday regarding a man who was “passed out in a pool of blood,” Humphrey said.

Police are working to develop a suspect. Again, Humphrey said it appears the victim knew his killer.

“Now that doesn’t justify or make it any better. But we want citizens to know we don’t have anyone walking around that’s targeting anyone,” he said. “I want to repeat that the victims and suspects knew each other in some manner.”

Sunday, police responded to a car crash just after 1 p.m. on the 8400 block of Labette Drive. They found Zachary Ester, 24, shot in the driver’s seat of a car. He was pronounced dead at the scene, according to a news release.

Read Tuesday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

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