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Arkansas officer killed by vehicle hailed as “an example”

July 3, 2021 GMT

PEA RIDGE, Ark. (AP) — A police officer killed by a vehicle in a northwest Arkansas convenience store parking lot has been hailed as “an example in what he did.”

Pea Ridge police Officer Kevin Apple died on June 26 when he was struck and dragged about 150 feet by a vehicle matching the description of one sought by police.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson was one of several dignitaries to speak at Apple’s funeral on Friday. He said the occasion was not only a memorial to Apple but a tribute to the hundreds of law enforcement officers nearly filling a Pea Ridge auditorium.

“He did what he was trained to do. He did what he pledged to do,” Hutchinson said. “And he confronted danger to protect others. His death tragically illustrates the danger our law enforcement officers face every day to keep us safe.”

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Investigators say the suspect vehicle was parked at gas pumps about 155 miles (249 kilometers) northwest of Little Rock when Apple and another officer approached it to speak to the occupants. An altercation ensued, and the vehicle rammed a patrol car and left the scene, striking and dragging Apple about 150 yards.

Police later found the vehicle in Bella Vista, about 9 miles (14 kilometers) west of Pea Ridge, and arrested Shawna Cash, 22, of Pine Bluff, the car driver, and Elijah Andazola, 18, of Bella Vista, her passenger. Both were being held without bond on allegations of capital murder and fleeing. Cash had been out of jail despite a history of low-level drug and theft cases.

Both are jailed without bond, and jail records do not list attorneys who could speak on their behalf.