LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A shooting outside Park Plaza Mall on Saturday left one man critically injured. It was the latest in a wave of shootings in Arkansas, and some community leaders said a statewide task force could be part of the solution to the problem.
Rev. Arthur Hunt leads HMC Ministries in Dumas, a town that was struck by one of the largest mass shootings in Arkansas history last month. He said the problem may be most serious in Little Rock, but other cities are experiencing violence in the same way.
“We have to do a better job,” Hunt said.
Hunt said a crime task force appointed by the governor could be a piece of the solution. The purpose would be to identify what is causing many of the shootings, and Hunt said people who interact with communities daily could be part of the committee.
“Strategist leaders who understand this can be annihilated [should be appointed],” Hunt said. “This can be eliminated. We want to put an end to this senseless attitude of hate and divisiveness.”
Little Rock sits at 16 homicides for the year, as of Saturday evening. Robert “Say” McIntosh is a longtime civil rights activist in the state, and he was visibly emotional discussing the violence in the state.
“It’s just a sad day we’re living in,” McIntosh said.
A request for comment was not responded to by Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s (R) office Friday. McIntosh said anything that can help should be implemented.
“Keep praying,” McIntosh said. “Keep working.”