Records indicate Alexander officer shot suspect in back

BENTON, AR – Newly released court documents describe the actions of now fired Alexander Police officer Nancy Cummings as “reckless” leading to the shooting death of a man last September.

Appearing via video arraignment on Friday, former officer Nancy Cummings, 47, told Saline County district judge Mike Robinson she’s lost her job after Thursday’s arrest for manslaughter in the death of Carleton Wallace.

Cummings claims she spotted Wallace, 30, walking on Brookwood Road in Alexander on September 8th with a pistol in his waistband and that he pointed it at her before tossing it away. Cummings then told investigators she accidently shot Wallace as she tried to pat him down.

His mother Jackie Wallace says that explanation isn’t enough.

“I know a lot of police officers and none of them do that, none of them,” Wallace says. “It just doesn’t make sense.”

We asked Cummings about it Friday afternoon as she bonded out of the Saline County jail this afternoon.

“The guy pulled a gun on me,” Cummings said as she rushed into a waiting car.

Cummings daughter Angel Johnson was riding in her patrol car the day of the shooting. In the arrest affidavit she claims that Wallace also pointed a pistol “in my mother’s direction for three to five seconds” the statement reads. However, Johnson says she did not see the shooting.

“I was occupied on my cell phone during this whole encounter and did not witness everything. I then heard a gunshot. My mother looked at me like she was confused as to what happened,” Johnson says.

But within the same arrest affidavit is a differing account of two juvenile eyewitnesses.

Both claim they witnessed Wallace toss a weapon but neither saw him point it at the officer.

“The cop then put Wallace on the hood of the car and Wallace tried to run off and he struggled and then the cop shot him in the back,” according to one juvenile.

According to the Arkansas State Crime Lab report indicated Wallace was shot at “close range”.  “Toxicology also indicates that the drugs amphetamines and methamphetamines as being present in Wallace’s blood,” the report reads.

The Wallace family admits they don’t know every detail of what happened the day their family member was shot, but they say no matter the circumstance, it should not have ended in his death.

“Whatever comes out, I’m going to be prepared for it. I just want the truth,” Jackie Wallace says.

State law allows police departments to hire officers and then provide them with the required amount of training hours during their first year on patrol. It’s a total of 12 weeks of training for fulltime hires like Cummings.

The Wallace family wants that practice to stop.

“I don’t want any other mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, to go through what we went through.”

Arkansas State Police special agent David Moss concluded the report to Saline County Prosecutor Ken Casady saying “the manner in which Cummings affected the arrest with her gun in her hand with the finger in the trigger well was reckless.”

FOX16 News also learned Friday that Cummings was arrested at Black River Technical College in Pocahontas receiving training when she was supposed to be on paid administrative leave.

Calls to the city of Alexander mayor Michelle Hobbs and police chief Horace Walters for comment were not immediately returned.

Cummings added she plans to seek legal representation from the Arkansas Municipal League.

District judge Mike Robinson ordered Cummings to appear for arraignment and plea on February 5th.

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