A Smackover man died early Friday morning, hours after a shooting at a local restaurant, and the suspect is now facing a charge of first-degree murder
Cory Goodwin, 30, succumbed to his injuries at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock.
El Dorado police found Goodwin lying in a pool of blood Thursday night in the parking lot of Hotshots Sports Bar and Grill, 601 S. Timberlane, after responding to a report of shots fired.
Eric Morrison, 28, of Hot Springs, was then taken into custody in connection with the shooting.
Morrison was initially charged with first-degree battery, but the charge was upgraded to murder after investigators received word that Goodwin had died.
He had been scheduled for a first appearance hearing Friday in 35th Judicial District Court.
However, when the battery charge was amended, his court appearance was rescheduled to 1:30 p.m. Monday.
Morrison is being held in the Union County Jail in lieu of a $1 million bond.
Police are not confirming that Goodwin was shot, nor are they releasing details on the nature his injuries.
Capt. Kevin Holt, public information officer for the El Dorado Police Department, said the body has been sent to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory in Little Rock for an autopsy.
“As far as the cause and manner of death, that’s what the crime lab will tell us,” Holt said.
Officers were called to Hotshots at approximately 9:23 p.m. Thursday in reference to shots fired.
Upon arrival, they saw a man “with blood on his body” lying in the parking lot just south of the business.
The man was identified as Goodwin, and was transported by ambulance to Medical Center of South Arkansas.
He was later transferred to UAMS for further treatment.
Holt said officers were notified of Goodwin’s death at approximately 9 a.m. Friday.
Police had made contact with Morrison at the scene of the shooting, and after speaking with Morrison and witnesses, officers took Morrison into custody without incident.
Holt said an altercation between the two men wound up on the parking lot outside Hotshots. When asked what led to the altercation, he said the matter is still under investigation.
“They were acquaintances. Now when I say acquaintances, I don’t know the duration or timeline of their acquaintance,” Holt said, adding that the men may have first encountered each other at Hotshots shortly before the shooting.
He said investigators recovered a weapon and spent shell casings from the scene. He declined to release further details about the weapon, saying only that “it was in plain view.”
Holt said an El Dorado High School sports team was set to return from an out-of-town game near the time the shooting occurred, and police received calls from worried parents.
The high school is also located on Timberlane, just south of Hotshots.
“They were coming to pick up their kids, and they were concerned about if it was something they should be on the lookout for, and there were some concerns about safety for the kids,” Holt said.
“That was completely unrelated to the incident, and they were not passing by any part of the scene. They were coming off Parnell Road,” he said, referring to the team.
The fatal shooting marked the second homicide in El Dorado this year.
The first occurred in February. The victim was 27-year-old Brian A. Smith, of Crossett.
Curtis E. Lumsey, 37, was arrested after police found Smith dead inside Lumsey’s house at 505 W. First.
Goodwin’s death occurred as the city is in the midst of 40 Days of Prayer, a community-wide campaign that promotes peace and unity and seeks to curb violence through daily prayer topics.
The third annual event began on Oct. 1 and will end on Nov. 9, with a Prayer Walk set for Nov. 8.
As part of the 40 Days campaign, the Salvation Army hosted a citywide prayer meeting in its chapel on Friday.
The prayer meeting had been scheduled prior to the shooting Thursday night and included singing, the reading of scripture and prayers.
Holt urged anyone who was at Hotshots at the time the shooting occurred to call investigators at 870-881-4810.
“No matter how minor it may seem, give us a call if you were there and tell us what you saw,” Holt insisted.
Tia Lyons may be contacted at 870-862-6611 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.