Scott Carroll of KATV has put together an in-depth retelling of the mass shooting July 1 at Power Ultra Lounge in which 25 were struck by gunfire, but none killed.
It’s based on two documents he unearthed under the state Freedom of Information Act. One is a 21-page after-action report compiled by the police department (also detailed in an article by Ryan Tarinelli today in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.) More telling and sensitive was a multi-media presentation that Police Chief Kenton Buckner gave at a private international police conference in October.
Police resisted release of the latter report, saying it was intended for other police eyes only and contained information relevant to an ongoing investigation. But it was released under protest to KATV and then destroyed on advice from City Attorney Tom Carpenter.
The reports detail some slipups, notably a blood-stained car that was allowed to be taken away from the crime scene without being processed for potential clues. The police didn’t call in a special FBI unit that might have assisted. In the runup to the event, the club’s illegal operation and ads promoting a rapper brandishing a gun perhaps should have raised more warning flags. Some of the initial response wasn’t sufficient for the scope of the event.
It’s interesting stuff. From a quick look, I’m inclined to think the Little Rock police did pretty well in a violent, chaotic and unprecedented (for Little Rock) mass crime. The reports cite a number of ways police can be better prepared in the future. A need for collapsible litters for officers to tote mass casualties is one not so encouraging small detail.
KATV plans a special report on Carroll’s report at 10 p.m. Thursday. This piece, perhaps pushed up for publication because the D-G obtained one of the reports Tuesday, is remarkable for its very “print-ness” — if that’s a word. Long and detailed and cohesive. Reading required. Carroll is a former reporter for the Democrat-Gazette.