JACKSONVILLE, Ark. – The girlfriend of the suspect who died in an officer-involved shooting Thursday afternoon spoke to us exclusively about their relationship.
North Little Rock police said Trisha Fleming’s boyfriend assaulted her and stole her car in Jacksonville, drove to North Little Rock, then led officers on a high-speed chase 50 miles outside of the city to Grant County.
“I was shocked because I never thought that he would do this,” Fleming said. “Never.”
Fleming said she couldn’t put a number on how many times she’s had to call police on her boyfriend. She just never thought their tumultuous relationship would end like this. But then again, she wouldn’t describe their past five years together as normal.
“Terror,” Fleming said. “Some good, mostly bad. But some good.”
Fleming said her boyfriend was an abusive drug addict, constantly demanding money from her to fuel his habit.
“This morning was different,” she said. “I’ve never seen him like that before. He just kicked in my door, jumped on me and took my car and my phone.”
Fleming said she’ll never forget what he kept repeating: “B****, we’re gonna die today. We’re both gonna die today.”
To make sure that didn’t happen, Fleming used a trick she’s had to resort to before.
“I told him I’d give him some money if he’d hold on,” she said. “When he went to the car to wait on me, I just snuck out the back door and went around to a neighbor’s house and called police.”
When Fleming got back, her boyfriend was gone. For about the next two hours, he led officers on the high-speed chase that ended when police said he hit a locked pole that was blocking the road.
According to North Little Rock police, he then stabbed a K-9 officer in the face three times and started coming at another officer with the knife. That’s when the officer shot him.
Police said it still took two officers to take him into custody.
“It just all piled up and he just didn’t care no more,” Fleming said.
Police said he was pronounced dead at the hospital.
“I feel awful, just awful,” Fleming said.
Because even in the end, he wasn’t a suspect to her. He was her boyfriend, her best friend.
“I still loved him,” Fleming said. “But he’s gone so my terror is gone.”
She just wishes he would have let her say a proper goodbye.
“I’m gonna have to move on to a different place and start my life over again,” Fleming said.
Because of what her boyfriend has done these past several months, Fleming said she’s been evicted from her apartment.
The officer who shot her boyfriend is on paid administrative leave, which is department policy.
The K-9 officer is home from the animal hospital with some stitches. Police expect him to return to work in several weeks.
Officers have not yet released any names in this case.