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Family members ask public for help finding pawn shop owner's killer

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is offering a $5,000 reward in the case. And Tuesday ATF investigators showed up to help Lonoke County authorities find some answers.
CABOT, AR - Family members are asking for help from anyone who saw a fire and robbery that left a Cabot man dead at his pawn shop. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is offering a $5,000 reward in the case. And Tuesday ATF investigators showed up to help Lonoke County authorities find some answers.

"He was a family man, loved his wife, his kids, his grandkids," said J.D. Douglas, the victim's son-in-law.

He and other family members grieved together Tuesday over the shocking death of 61-year-old Billy Joe Pipkin. A business next door to Pipkin's KBC Pawn Shop reported a fire there Monday afternoon and firefighters found Pipkin shot and killed inside.

Whoever came in stole several items too, but deputies aren't saying what. Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms joined the Lonoke County Sheriff's Office collected evidence for a second day.

"Due to the fact that Mr. Pipkin was a licensed gun dealer they offered assistance," said Lt. Jim Kulesa with the Lonoke County Sheriff's Office. "We did find some evidence, items that were submitted to the state crime lab."

Authorities hope evidence like video surveillance materials can provide some leads. As of Tuesday evening they had no suspects.

Family members say Mr. Pipkin was a respected member of the community having been in business in Cabot for around 15 years. They say he had no known enemies. But he was in a business where he dealt with people he didn't know every day.

Douglas said, "There's a lot of bad people out there."

Family members say what's more unusual, Pipkin's father, Abe Pipkin died on April 5th, 34 years ago. Abe Pipkin was a Beebe police officer killed after a robbery. Billy Joe Pipkin never quit looking for his father's killer and family members say they won't either.

"We'll always remember him and we won't stop until we find out who did it," said son-in-law Brett Busby.

Gary Lee Evans is serving a 30-year prison sentence for the death of Abe Pipkin. Call the Lonoke County Sheriff's Department at (501) 676-3000 if you have any information on Billy Joe Pipkin's death.
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