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EPD continues investigation in shots near WMS

By Tia Lyons
This article was published February 25, 2018 at 5:00 a.m.

By Tia Lyons

Staff Writer

El Dorado police are continuing an investigation into a shooting that forced a local school into lockdown on Feb. 16.

No injuries were reported in the incident in which multiple shots were reportedly fired just north of Washington Middle School, 601 Martin Luther King.

The El Dorado Police Department, Union County Sheriff’s Office and Arkansas State Police responded to a report of shots fired shortly before 2 p.m.

A crowd of concerned parents and guardians gathered outside the school after hearing news about the shooting. They waited outside until receiving word that all students were safe and accounted for.

According to a witness statement, the incident involved two males near the wood line just north of the WMS campus. One of the males was allegedly firing shots at the other.

Police Chief Billy White said then that the shooting occurred in a clearing between a fence that surrounds school grounds and a wooded area near MLK.

“It was in the immediate area of the school, but it was not on school property. It was not inside the fence and it was not directed toward the school or toward anyone at the school,” White said.

A pipeline survey plane from Lion Oil/Delek assisted police in searching for suspects in the wooded area, but police were unable to find any suspects at the time.

Capt. Kevin Holt, EPD public information officer, said investigators later identified a person of interest, and an arrest warrant was issued on an unrelated charge.

“It turns out it was not him. We found out it was not him, and he was not involved,” Holt said.

He said the investigation is ongoing, and police are canvassing the area around WMS and talking to residents in the neighborhood.

The suspects were described as two black males, one wearing a white T-shirt and the other, a black T-shirt. The witness said the incident occurred on the northwest edge of the wooded area, close to MLK.

Anyone with information about the shooting is urged to call police at 881-4810.

Tia Lyons may be contacted at 870-862-6611 or tlyons@ eldoradonews.com.

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