Officers with the Little Rock Police Department have recovered a handgun belonging to LRPD Chief Kenton Buckner that reportedly went missing while Buckner was moving earlier this year
KTHV reports that just after 5 p.m. on Wednesday, officers responded to a call about a suspicious vehicle in the 2000 block of South Shackleford Road. After approaching the vehicle, officers found two men, Edward Williams and Nathaniel Sullivan inside. Police said the driver had a handgun in his lap at the time of his arrest. A search of the car allegedly uncovered another handgun, narcotics and scales.
Police said both the handguns in the car were stolen, with the serial number on one eventually identifying it as the Glock pistol Buckner had reported missing on June 8. Buckner said that he’d noticed the pistol was gone following a move to a new home over the Memorial Day weekend.
Both Williams and Sullivan were charged with Theft by Receiving, Possession of a Firearm, Possession of a Controlled Substance and Possession of an Instrument of a Crime.
Buckner was disciplined by city director Bruce Moore for the loss of the handgun, which had been his backup sidearm. He reimbursed the city for the cost of the pistol. During an interview with the Arkansas Times conducted in July, Buckner said he believed the weapon was thrown out with the trash during the move, saying:
At no time, and still to this day, do I believe someone stole the weapon. There are a lot of good people that helped me move, all professionals. But I had to kind of mention that, because if you don’t know where it is then you can’t truly say what happened with the weapon. If I had to be pushed with my back against the wall and say what do you think happened with it, I would say that it was in something that was maybe thrown out, and I was unaware that it was in there.
With the recovery of the handgun, it appears Buckner may have been wrong about it being stolen.
We have an inquiry in to the Chief seeking more information, and will report as it becomes available.
UPDATE: We received an email from Buckner regarding the recovery of the pistol:
I was glad to see the weapon recovered. It is hit or miss with stolen property. Rarely are you lucky enough to recover your property.
I have no connection to the men arrested for possession of the weapon. They were not part of any of the workers that I witnessed in my home during my move. I highly doubt we will ever know how they gained possession of the weapon.
They were arrested without incident and [there is] no evidence the weapon was used in a crime.