Friend of Little Rock’s first homicide victim speaks out

Local News

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Little Rock police are investigating the first homicide of 2020.

It happened at a building in the far south corner of Capitol Hill Apartments.

Police have been interviewing people that live in that area, and detectives have even left their business cards on some of the doors. They’re trying to get any information they can to catch whoever did this.

“It’s unfortunate that we’re here already, fifth day of January,” said PIO Eric Barns from LRPD.

Five days into the next decade, crime scene tape and police cars fill the parking lot of the Capitol Hill Apartments in West Little Rock.

“When the calls came in, it was for multiple shots that were fired,” said Barnes.

Little Rock Police Public Information Officer (LRPD PIO) Eric Barnes said those callers reported hearing six to 10 shots. When officers got on scene, they found Varn Brown, Jr. on the ground just outside the lower level breezeway of one of the apartment buildings.

He was shot several times, and was pronounced dead on the scene.

“Right now, we don’t have any suspect information, really any motive that goes along with this one,” said Barnes.

Brown’s longtime friend, Reenada Johnson was just five minutes away and heart the sirens. Just a little later she found out he was killed.

“I don’t even see how that even happened,” Johnson said.

Johnson has known Brown for 20 years and says she doesn’t understand why this happened.

“No, especially not him. He’s not that type of person. He doesn’t have a problem with anybody,” Johnson said.

According to police, this is very out of character for this complex.

“This is the first time I can think we’ve had a homicide at this location,” said Barnes.

“We really don’t have too much of anything going on in here, it’s really quiet,” said Ashley Washington the Apartment Manager.

Washington said that her first concern was the safety of her residents.

“Really the safety of my residents honestly. I just got in touch with as many people as possible,” said Washington.

She said in her four years of working at the apartments, she’s never seen anything like this.

“Of course we stress to our residents and prospects that crime has no address, and it can happen anywhere. Unfortunately, it had to happen here,” said Washington.

Police are working closely with apartment residents and staff, they also go the footage from security cameras at the complex.

“They’ll get to the bottom of it,” said Washington. “I believe in God, so I’m not really fearful at all, but I do want the person to get caught”.

The shooter is still on the loose, and there is no information on a suspect at this time.

If you saw or know anything, you’re urged to contact Little Rock Police.

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