The Little Rock Police Department held a news briefing at 12:30 p.m. to discuss a spate of homicides over the weekend.
At the briefing, Police Chief Keith Humphrey detailed the homicides and outlined resources in the department to help, including a helpline. He said he wanted people to know the police take the cases seriously and that people shouldn’t be afraid to go out. He said all the cases involved people who knew each other, as opposed to random violence directed at strangers.
The city has recorded 55 homicides this year, 12 more than at the same point last year. Humphrey said the city’s experience mirrors that of the country. “This has been a rough year for everyone,” he said.
This could be because people are staying in more because of the pandemic, he said, along with tension from financial hard times, but added, “We have a conflict resolution problem in this city.”
He said he’d like to see a city-wide effort aimed at conflict resolution, perhaps with a task force to study the question.
Four homicides occurred over a two-day period.
Kimeisha Harris was found dead on the floor of her home in the 2700 block of Longcoy Street in the John Barrow Addition about 4 p.m. Saturday.
Police responding to a call were directed to the front door by Quincy Harris. After interviews, Harris was charged with first-degree murder. A police release didn’t specify the cause of the death of Harris’ wife. The Pulaski jail roster said Harris was also charged with being in possession of a firearm and on a warrant for failure to appear on an earlier misdemeanor charge.
The chief urged people to seek help for domestic abuse. He said the department has victim advocates to work with those needing help.
It was the second homicide in less than a week in the neighborhood, but there’s no indication of a connection. Officers responding to a shooting in the 3500 block of Longcoy early Dec. 23 later found an 18-year-old fatally wounded and two others with minor gunshot wounds after a car accident nearby.
Police subsequently reported three more homicides Saturday and Sunday in the 10900 block of Mara Lynn Road, the 6900 block of Geyer Springs Road and the 8400 block of Labette Drive.
Police said Brandon Simpson, 36 was found dead inside a residence on Mara Lynn about 10:30 p.m. Saturday. Officers were responding to a call that shots had been fired and that someone might be inside the residence in distress. Officers forced a door and found Simpson’s body, as well as a woman hiding in a shower. There’s not been an arrest, but the chief said it’s believed Simpson was killed by someone he knew.
The police found Michael Oliver, 47, dead in a pool of blood about 6 a.m. Sunday in an apartment in the 6900 block of Geyer Springs. The chief had no additional information.
Police also found a shooting victim about 1 p.m. Sunday inside a wrecked car in the 8400 block of Labette. Witnesses said they believed a shooting happened inside the vehicle, which then ran in verse into a utility pole. The victim was identified as Zachary Ester, 24, who had been driving the car. There’s been no arrest.
In another weekend shooting, KARK reports that a man survived a gunshot wound to the forehead in the 1500 block of W. 28th St. on Saturday morning. A 42-year-old woman has been charged with battery in the shooting.