Lack of Witnesses Complicates Kensett Shooting Investigation

KENSETT, AR – White County detectives say more than a dozen people may be witnesses to a weekend shooting that left a man in a hospital. But so far, no one is coming forward.

It’s beyond non-descript. The American Legion hut in Kensett, east of Searcy, isn’t even labeled. But it’s where White County detectives say Javienee Martin, 19, was shot after an argument got out of control early Sunday morning.

Chief deputy Phillip Miller says the shooting happened inside the building and low lighting could play a role in who witnessed the fight and ensuing gunfire.

“We know there were some alcohol involved, some underage minors that were there, so there may be some reluctance there,” Miller says.

Miller says at this point detectives aren’t concerned with who was drinking. They need someone to come forward.

“Give us a call and say hey I saw something, this is who I think it was, or whatever details they can provide,” Miller says.

So far those details have been like activity around the club on a quiet Monday, hard to find. Detectives believe as many as two dozen people may have been present when the shooting happened.

As of now, none of them have come forward with information.

“We don’t want this incident to happen somewhere else because of this first one,” Miller says. “A second, third or fourth incident happens where nobody wants to talk and it gets worse.”

White county detectives aren’t ready to say yet if this is an example of “no snitching”, where witnesses refuse to come forward to help police, but it’s possible.

Detectives say they plan to talk to him soon, hopefully he can help them piece together what happened.

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