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Suspects in Helena officer's fatal shooting arrested in Mississippi

by Tony Holt | November 13, 2020 at 11:44 a.m.
Police lights are shown in this file photo.

Two men suspected of shooting and killing a Helena-West Helena police officer Thursday night are in custody, the police chief confirmed Friday morning.

Latarius Howard, 29, and Bruce Hillie, 24, were apprehended around 7:30 a.m. Friday by U.S. Marshals near Indianola, Miss., according to the Helena-West Helena Police Department.

Both men are suspected of shooting and killing officer Travis Wallace, 41, a five-year veteran of the department, Helena-West Helena Police Chief James Smith told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette on Friday morning.

"We were not going to rest until those two individuals were in custody," Smith said.

Details of the fatal shooting were not disclosed Friday.

Howard and Hillie remain jailed in Sunflower County, Miss., and are awaiting extradition, Smith said.

The two suspects had split up and were in different locations in the Indianola area when they were caught, Smith said. Local authorities and Arkansas State Police assisted U.S. Marshals in locating them, according to police.

Smith said Wallace was also a sergeant at the East Arkansas Regional Unit near Brickeys.

"He was a very ambitious, very professional officer who was very eager to help save his community," Smith said. "He was a leader for our department and he's going to be truly missed by all of his colleagues and all of the [residents] in this community."

Wallace was survived by his mother and two children, Smith said.


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