WEST MEMPHIS, AR--Two West Memphis police officers have been shot and killed after a shootout during a traffic stop. The Crittenden County Sheriff and the Chief Deputy were shot and injured in a separate shootout with the same suspects.
The fallen officers have been identified as Officer Brandon Paudert, son of Police Chief Bob Paudert, and Officer Bill Evans.
Brandon Paudert died at the scene. Evans was rushed to Crittenden Regional Hospital where he later died.
Investigators say around 11:36 a.m., Officer Evans initiated a traffic stop at mile marker 275 on I-40 eastbound. The suspect's car exited near College Ave. Shortly after the car stopped, police say Sgt. Brandon Paudert arrived on the scene to assist Officer Evans. Moments later, Officer Evans was pushed to the ground by one of the suspects, and gunfire was directed at both officers. The suspects fled the scene in a white minivan and were spotted about ten minutes later in the Wal-Mart parking lot in West Memphis.
Shortly after officers located the minivan, an officer rammed the van, preventing the suspects from fleeing. A second shootout erupted at the Walmart parking lot. Police say the suspects were armed with a long rifle and handgun. During that shootout, Crittenden County Sheriff Dick Busby was shot along with Chief Deputy W.A. Wren. They were both taken to The MED. The two male suspects were both shot and pronounced dead on the scene.
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