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Dashcam Released of Arkansas Police Slayings

Dashcam Released of Arkansas Police Slayings

An Arkansas Wildlife officer takes cover during a shootout in Crittenden County, Arkansas.

The Commercial Appeal via YellowBrix

July 01, 2010

JONESBORO, Ark. — From the cab of his FedEx truck, Vincent Brown had a bird’s-eye view of the shooting that killed two West Memphis police officers on May 20.

A short video clip from an officer’s dashboard camera released Wednesday shows 16-year-old Joe Kane in a red T-shirt slowly open the passenger-side door of a 1994 white Plymouth Voyager van and wield an AK-47 assault rifle. Within seconds. he vanishes from the camera’s view.

But Brown’s account, which is part of a 240-page preliminary report from the Arkansas State Police, fills in the gaps.

The truck driver’s rig was parked behind the two police cars on the off ramp at mile marker 275 on Interstate 40.

Brown couldn’t hear the shots because of his tractor- trailer’s engine. But he told investigators the chilling scene he witnessed:

It began, he said, when a “potbelly guy” driving the van – Jerry Kane Jr. – suddenly pushed Officer Bill Evans down an embankment and into a ditch.

Then Joe Kane – “a skinny kid” as Brown identified him – came out of nowhere with what appeared to be an automatic weapon with a long clip. He began to fire.

Brown said Evans tried to draw his weapon with one hand and extended the other in front of himself as if to say: Stop.

Sgt. Brandon Paudert, who’d arrived as backup for Evans, took cover behind his partner’s Chevy Tahoe. But it appeared that Joe “timed it just right” to shoot Paudert in the head, Brown told investigators, and then stood over his body as the officer lay in the roadway.

Both Kanes got back in the van. The video clip shows Joe firing four more rounds of the AK-47 out of the van’s passenger-side window in the direction of Evans as his father slowly drove away.

A crime-scene report said Paudert lay on his back, head pointed west, feet toward the east, with his semi-automatic weapon in his right hand. He had a “large, gaping wound extending from his chin to the top of his skull.”

Evans was taken to the hospital where he was later pronounced dead. His bullet-proof vest, shredded by gunfire, lay in the ditch along with his handheld police radio.

Mike Walden, prosecuting attorney for the 2nd Judicial District in Arkansas, said Wednesday that officers involved in a second shootout that killed the Kanes 90 minutes later in the Walmart parking lot, were justified and that he didn’t anticipate filing any charges.

Police recovered 144 shell casings from various weapons — pistols, rifles and shotguns — at the Walmart crime scene.

Some officers told state police officials that Joe Kane still had his finger on the trigger of his weapon when his body was pulled from the van.

Crittenden County Sheriff Dick Busby and Chief Deputy W.A. Wren were wounded in the second firefight. Busby recovered from a bullet wound to the shoulder.

Wren has been in a rehabilitation center in Jonesboro since his release from the Regional Medical Center at Memphis. He could be released as soon as Friday.

Raw Video: First Shootout in Which West Memphis Officers Were Killed

Raw Video: Second Shootout in Walmart Parking Lot in Which Suspects Were Killed

Prosecuting attorney Walden said if the Kanes had survived they would have faced capital murder charges in the deaths of Evans and Paudert.

The investigation is ongoing because material from the FBI and the Arkansas State Crime Lab has yet to be reviewed. Walden released the preliminary report because of the amount of media inquiries and public interest in the case.

Investigators determined that Joe Kane wielded the AK-47 while his father had a Taurus 45/LC 410 revolver.

The evidence log in the preliminary report shows that police recovered ammunition from the Kanes’ van along with a marijuana brick, rolling papers, a scale and screens with burnt marijuana cigarettes behind the passenger seat. They also found hotel receipts, CDs titled “Banks Do Not Loan Money” and $301, among other items.

West Memphis Police Chief Bob Paudert, Brandon’s father, took his wife and Brandon’s family to Florida this week to escape the media coverage of the investigative report’s release.

He hasn’t seen the dash camera video or read the report. A state investigator briefed him on a few details.

“I have mixed emotions about looking at the video,” he said. "I probably need to as a chief, but as a father it’s going to be very difficult.

“It’s the last few minutes of Brandon and Bill’s life. Everyone keeps saying I’m strong, but I’m not strong. This has had a major impact on me.”

Staff reporters Cindy Wolff, Jody Callahan and Kevin McKenzie contributed to this report.


To see more of The Commercial Appeal or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://www.commercialappeal.com.

Copyright © 2010, The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, Tenn.

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

For more information about the content services offered by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services (MCT), visit www.mctinfoservices.com, e-mail services@mctinfoservices.com, or call 866-280-5210 (outside the United States, call +1 312-222-4544).


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  • Photo_user_blank_big

    STEVEDLUX

    almost 4 years ago

    16 Comments

    pcpd2601 Could not have said it better. Very upsetting to see, prayers to these fallen brothers and their families. God Bless.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    almost 4 years ago

    Great job by the responding Officers. Wonderful tactic by the Officer in the truck.
    The first video send ripples thru my spine...
    R.I.P. Brothers

  • Policelinkbadge_max160_max50_max50

    Gombino

    almost 4 years ago

    2658 Comments

    Bump jrka804. He is a hero.

  • 1981_max50

    SGT43

    almost 4 years ago

    332 Comments

    The guy in the truck!!!! FANTASTIC JOB! Great job by all those involved! God bless you!

  • Hard_badge_002_max50

    TellerDep

    almost 4 years ago

    2812 Comments

    Rest in Peace Brothers,my condolences to the Chief and his family,To the DOW officer great job!

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    jrka804

    almost 4 years ago

    18 Comments

    I will say that the wildlife officer is a damn HERO! He knew what needed to be done, and he did it without hesitation! No monday morning quarterbacking here...wish we had more like him!

  • Img_3265_max50

    mucholucho

    almost 4 years ago

    214 Comments

    So sad, great work in taking these creeps out though. Awesome job by that guy in the Truck.....risky but he probably saved more lives in doing so.

  • Swat_pictures_031_max50

    pcpd2601

    almost 4 years ago

    392 Comments

    I don't like seeing these videos. It is disturbing seeing our Brothers and Sisters in the last moments of their lives. Life is very fragile. God rest our Brothers souls.

  • Joefriday_max50

    alexy

    almost 4 years ago

    3970 Comments

    He is alive to tell about it, they are not so he wins. He was justified no matter what to immediately disable that van with his truck. Instead of a 180 grain bullet he used a 5600 lb truck . RIP officers and prayers for a speedy recovery to those injured.

  • Gas_mask_1_max50

    creekcop

    almost 4 years ago

    1056 Comments

    Chis, I couldn't agree more. This is an exemplary effort of incredible teamwork and self sacrifice to weed out the evil scum that terrorized our communities. God Bless those that gave their life for the good of the community. My prayers and God speed to the lost but not forgotten!

  • Mandy_and_me_max50

    FCPD0341

    almost 4 years ago

    792 Comments

    That wild life officer probably contained them and stopped them from running again....but you are right but I think "risky move" may not define it. Either way that dude has some huge you know whats....As for the Officers killed may they rest in peace.

  • Odmp_max50

    Chris_Cosgriff

    almost 4 years ago

    1052 Comments

    Although an extremely risky move, my hat is off to the Arkansas Wildlife officer who likely prevented more officers from being wounded or killed by disabling and distracting these two human POS's long enough for them to be taken out once and for all.

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