Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Police suspect killing, fire related

- CLAUDIA LAUER

Lonoke police have one man in custody in a Sunday afternoon homicide and are investigat­ing a Sunday night arson that officials believe was related.

Walter Jones, 28, of Lonoke died after someone shot him several times during an altercatio­n at 101 Plantation Drive, Lonoke Police Chief Michael Wilson said.

The fight ended with the multiple shooting of two men between 2:30 p.m. and 3 p.m., Wilson said.

The other man who was shot, Courtney McClain, 24, of Lonoke was treated at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock and taken into custody after he was released, Wilson said.

Witnesses told police that McClain and Jones had been arguing along with several family members at a nightclub in Scott on Saturday night.

Shots were fired during that altercatio­n, and Wilson said Jones’ car was shot during that fight.

Wilson said the two men met up outside of the Plantation Drive address where Jones was living in a rental unit, and the fight continued.

“I’m not sure which one of them brought the gun to the fight,” Wilson said. “We haven’t filed charges yet. We have [McClain] on investigat­ive hold.”

Charges would likely be filed by the end of today, Wilson said. Police are searching for other suspects and a second gun that might have been involved in the fight Sunday.

The homicide is the first inside city limits since 2006, Wilson said.

The department is also investigat­ing a possible arson at McClain’s grandmothe­r’s house on Teresa Lane in Lonoke, Wilson said.

The fire broke out at 1:30 a.m. at Dorothy McClain’s house and was put out.

Investigat­ors believe the fire was intentiona­lly set because of death threats that the family had received earlier in the day, Wilson said. Lonoke police have requested help from an Arkansas State Police arson investigat­ion team.

State Police spokesman Bill Sadler confirmed that a group of the department’s investigat­ors was helping to determine the cause and origin of the fire.

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