April 30, 2014 Edition

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Delaplaine man
killed during incident

Gretchen Hunt

A domestic dispute involving two Delaplaine residents ended in Walnut Ridge when the man involved in the incident was shot by a Walnut Ridge police officer.

WRPD Chief Richy Thatcher said officers responded to a 911 call that came in around 2 a.m. on April 23.

"A lady called saying her soon-to-be ex-husband was following her and harassing her," Thatcher said.

He said the two vehicles traveled into Walnut Ridge on Highway 34 and when officers intercepted them they appeared to have wrecked.

"The first officer on the scene witnessed the male subject shoot at the vehicle the female was in," Thatcher said.

He stated that the subject, later identified as Elijah Waltman, 52, then started toward officers, stopped and shot himself in the side, then turned toward officers again.

"That is when he was shot," Thatcher said.

The names of the officers are not being released at this time, but Thatcher did report that two WRPD officers were at the scene at the time of the shooting and county officers arrived soon after.

The Arkansas State Police is conducting an investigation, which is routine when an officer is involved in a shooting.

Bill Sadler, public information officer with the ASP, said a report will be prepared and submitted to the prosecuting attorney to determine if the use of force was consistent with Arkansas law.

Thatcher said that Elijah Waltman was pronounced dead at the scene. Marcella Waltman, 44, suffered several gunshot wounds and was transported to Jonesboro and then airlifted to The Med in Memphis. There were no injuries to the officers involved.

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