HELENA-WEST HELENA, Ark. (News release) – The Arkansas State Police is investigating the death of three individuals after a double homicide and an officer-involved shooting in Phillips County.
Yesterday afternoon (Tuesday, August 27th) officers with the Helena-West Helena Police Department responded to the residence of 202 Washington Street in response to a report of a shooting at that location. As officers approached the residence, they located two female victims in the front yard. Christine Fulmer, 40, and Deanna Thomas Banks, 28, both of Helena-West Helena were deceased upon the officers arrival.
As officers approached the front door of the residence, Raymond Lewis Williams, Jr., 37, came out of the front door brandishing a rifle. When officers took cover, Williams fled back into the home, where he barricaded himself. At that time, Helena-West Helena Police requested the assistance of the Arkansas State Police SWAT Team.
Communications with Williams was unsuccessful through the evening, and after multiple attempts to communicate tear gas was deployed in to the home. Soon after, Williams appeared on the front porch of the residence with a rifle and fired at officers. State troopers then fired on Williams, who died at the scene.
The bodies of all three individuals at the scene will be sent to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory to determine the manner and cause of death.
Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division will be prepare an investigative file to present to the county prosecuting attorney who will decide if the shooting was consistent with Arkansas laws regarding the use of deadly force by a law enforcement officer.
Pursuant to Arkansas State Police Policy, the state troopers who fired on Williams are presently on paid administrative leave.